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A 21st century consideration: cryptocurrency and estate planning

Cryptocurrency these days is more than the mere concept of a few futurists that it was just a few short years ago. The realm of this alternative-to-cash universe is now solidly entrenched and growing, and at least a bit more understood in the general public than it used to be.

A finance writer for one national publication notes that cryptocurrency – readers might reasonably flash on Bitcoin, which is certainly the most well-known of all digital currency offerings – now needs to be better comprehended by another audience as well.

And that is, ironically, its very possessors.

Here’s the point stressed by writer Andrew Seale relevant to cryptocurrency holdings of certain individuals in California and across the country: Many of them haven’t given a thought to how their stash can be identified and passed on to third parties if they are no longer on the scene.

That scenario, notes Seale, is “untapped territory a lot of cryptocurrency investors haven’t thought about.”

And it makes for some interesting imagery. An account holder who fails to do any timely estate planning prior to passing away leaves cryptocurrency behind that is like “a lost soul adrift in the digital world, inaccessible.”

The media is full of stories these days chronicling the staggering spike in bitcoin values and the resulting fortunes of entrepreneurs and risk takers – many of them young Millennials. We suspect that some of our readers have either dabbled in this cutting-edge investment realm or are already sitting on substantial holdings.

Seale stresses that individuals who have a crypto portfolio “should consult their estate lawyer to determine the appropriate strategy for their circumstances.”

Failure to craft a plan that identifies digital holdings, enables access by an estate administrator or trustee and provides for wealth release to beneficiaries leaves cryptocurrency in that driftless-soul status cited above.

Digital wealth is an asset that can be passed along to heirs and loved ones. An experienced estate administration attorney can help promote that aim.

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