One of the Bitcoin’s best qualities is that it provides a safe space for the store of wealth that can be kept a secret. It is protected by cryptography and private keys. On the other hand, this means that if an owner dies without telling somebody what his private key is, nobody could gain access to the wealth. He could take his wealth to the grave, making it unreachable for his family. The main question is – if children of the deceased can inherit houses or physical money, could they inherit Bitcoin? Fortunately, yes, they could.
This is an issue reserved not only for cryptocurrencies but also for social media accounts. Information kept on your email account, for example, is worthy of protection, so everyone should make decisions about the way they should be handled after the owner’s death.
Recently, one man passed away, leaving his family with a Bitcoin inheritance. Fortunately for them, the man used the very popular Coinbase as his online wallet, so the family could claim his wealth. Not all cases could be resolved so easily. This is why people who have Bitcoin should think about the best way to solve this problem.
Here, some possible solutions will be listed. They are recommendable for every owner handling digital wealth, so it could be easily passed on to heirs.
The simplest solution is to make sure that somebody from the family, that the owner trusts, gets a copy of the private key. The owner could write it down or store it on a memory drive or a private computer. They have to make sure that the right people know where to find it. There are electronic safety deposit boxes such as electronic wallets or password manager programs. They keep valuables, such as private keys or passwords safe.
A more complicated, but a more secure solution is appointing an electronic estate trustee. This person would be an executor of the deceased owner’s will. The owner needs to make sure that the trustee knows how to handle digital accounts and passwords in relation to them. The general advice is not to put private keys or passwords directly into a will because wills are made public. The trustee should make sure that private information stays private.
After all of this, if Bitcoin is not in the will, members of the close family could claim it, as rightful heirs. If they manage to get to the private key, they could walk off with a significant wealth.
In conclusion, the challenge of making Bitcoin wealth passable to heirs is not that complicated, all it needs is a little bit of planning ahead.