Cryptocurrencies: what happens to our digital assets in the event of death?
The fervor for this concept is spreading more and more, many followers start to invest in bitcoins.
So much so, that it is considered that these crypto-currencies could gradually settle on the financial market as their value begins to be quantified.
The other side of the coin, however, is that if you die overnight, your digital currencies will also disappear.
Hard reality to face and especially to prepare for: what is the future of my cryptocurrencies when I die? How do I pass them on to avoid losing them?
First of all, what are cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies represent a virtual value. The National Consumer Institute (INC) cites cryptocurrencies as " a virtual currency that relies on a computer protocol of encrypted and decentralized transactions, called blockchain ".
To go further, these are " virtual assets stored on an electronic medium allowing a community of users accepting them as payment to carry out transactions without having to use legal tender ".
By financial transactions, we mean transfers and purchases, like the euro finally.
Except that cryptocurrencies are legally worthless since they are not subject to any institution and cannot be saved.
The French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) even pushes the bell by indicating that it is a risky market, victim of many scams.
Nothing is certain and yet many of you are opting for this universal currency model. To invest money in it, to devote time to it until you create your own electronic wallet.
What happens to your cryptocurrency tokens if you pass away?
It is obvious that if you did not tell your relatives (your future heirs), that your access codes are unrecoverable, all your tokens will be lost and your efforts will have been in vain...
It is difficult to accept this sad fate and yet it has become a real reality to consider: Coincover (a BTC concierge service) claims, for example, that more than 4 million Bitcoins are lost forever because the decryption keys cannot be found.
To avoid this type of situation, the ideal is to bequeath your digital assets.
There are precautions to take so that you can transmit your cryptocurrency tokens.
➡ Precaution #1 - Tell your future heirs about your digital currency.
You are not obliged to communicate your access codes during your lifetime.
However, you do have the option to tell your loved ones that you are investing in cryptocurrencies (bitcoin or other virtual currencies).
Ideally, you should tell them that you have taken the necessary steps to obtain the access codes to these accounts.
This will make it much easier for your heirs!
Be aware that if you comply with tax law in the strict sense, that your Bitcoins have some value, your digital assets must be reported on your taxes.
This should logically facilitate your succession, in theory. The practice has yet to prove itself...
➡ Precaution #2 - Drawing up a will
Before you write your will, be sure to answer these questions first:
- Who will I bequeath my cryptocurrency tokens to?
- Should I divide it up for several of my heirs?
- Can I transfer some of them to an association?
- Can I just indicate where the decryption key is located instead of giving my access codes directly?
Once you have answered these questions, choose the type of will you want to make:
– the holographic will It should be written, dated and signed by you. Be sure to file it with a notary to ensure that it is properly preserved.
- lhe authentic will The writing is done by a public officer, the notary. In your presence, the notary writes everything you dictate (your wishes). The deed is then signed after being read by you, the notary and your two witnesses.
This will is valid as long as there is no evidence that the notarized deed does not reflect reality. The notary is obliged to keep it for 75 years.
Please check that your notary has registered your will to the Central File of Last Will and Testament Dispositions (CTF). Without this, you cannot be completely sure that your will will be found at your death by the notary in charge of the succession.
Now that you have defined the form, define the content: what instructions will you leave?
The important thing is to specify the identity of the person(s) who will have to take care of your digital assets and what happens to these cryptocurrencies (which sites to log in to, your credentials and access codes).
Keep in mind, moreover, that you need to leave a record of your cryptocurrency transactions to avoid any unexplained reversals.
Record the date of your transactions in a logbook, make a description of them. Add receipts for purchases and transfers of cryptocurrencies. Indicate their value as well as accounting and legal fees.
The more information you provide, the better your tax return will be!
➡ Precaution #3 - Leave your instructions in a digital safe:
An equally effective solution allows you to transmit your access codes in complete security: the digital safe.
Here, we will mainly talk about the digital safe Legapass.
This solution offers you the possibility to easily fill in all the information related to your access codes and the instructions to give to your future legatees. A bit like the principle of the will, you will indicate all the things you consider important to bequeath.
Your data will be stored in your offline safe, protected from hacking by a military-grade algorithm.
You can transmit your data at any time from your computer or smartphone. Legapass keeps your information safe and will pass it on to your heirs in the event of your death.
The advantage of using this process: in the event of death, the site is informed (thanks to the INSEE file of deceased persons) and can contact your heirs to transmit your digital safe to them Legapass.
Do I have to opt for the will rather than the digital safe?
You are in no way obliged to make a choice, since these two alternatives are complementary.
You can also indicate in your will that you have a digital safe Legapass in which you indicated the procedure to follow and all your identifiers.
Just as you can leave information in your offline safe that you have made a will with such and such a notary and that therefore your beneficiaries will have to turn to him for the succession of your digital assets.
By ensuring that you pass on your digital tokens through the will and the electronic safe, you are opting for the security of your digital wealth and the non-loss of your assets in the limbo of the Web.