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NerdWallet

Nov. 17, 2021, 4:59 a.m. EST

Can you leave cryptocurrency to your heirs? Here’s how to do it safely

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By Sara Rathner

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Make a detailed plan for your loved ones

Name a beneficiary in your will and add a document to your estate plan that lists your crypto assets and any passwords, PINs, keys and instructions to find your cold wallet. If you have an account at a cryptocurrency exchange, your beneficiary can contact customer support to notify them of your death.

According to a Coinbase /zigman2/quotes/225893452/composite COIN -1.88% representative, there is a process in place to guide next of kin, including one-on-one assistance from a Coinbase analyst. Gemini requires a death certificate and power of attorney to initiate a transfer out of a deceased person’s account.

“We hope to simplify this process in the future, so we are working to add account beneficiaries functionality to our platform,” a Gemini representative said in an email.

Also see: Crypto ‘reasonable to own’ as ‘part of a diversified portfolio,’ but don’t expect Apple to take bitcoin payment soon, says Tim Cook

Update your plan and your wallet

Ensure that your assets will go to the right people by keeping your estate plan updated, especially after a life change like marriage or divorce. Provide up-to-date instructions so beneficiaries can access your assets. Cold wallets need maintenance, too, in the form of periodic firmware updates. This can help lessen the burden on your loved ones and hopefully prevent fights as they settle your estate after your death.

“Crypto has the potential to be a very explosive thing because the value can be so huge so quickly,” Mejias says. “When you think about five, 10 years from now, we’re potentially talking about a whole lot of money.”

This article provides information for educational purposes. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend specific investments, including stocks, securities or cryptocurrencies.

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Sara Rathner writes for NerdWallet. Email: srathner@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @sarakrathner.

/zigman2/quotes/225893452/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 66.15
-1.27 -1.88%
Volume: 15.17M
May 20, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.81
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$14.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.93M
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