Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

How digital assets have affected estate planning

The law has always had to evolve to keep up with the times, and estate planning is no exception to that. In fact, estate planning has had to adapt to the recent rise of digital assets, particularly cryptocurrencies, and to change from a relatively straightforward process to one that that is trying to cope with the intricacies that come with a new type of assets.

Estate planners now have to be aware of how this new asset has affected their business. For one thing, they can take the traditional route of estate planning when handling digital assets. Additionally, according to the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, RUFADAA for short, estate planners have the right to access their client's digital assets while not compromising their client's privacy. All that being said, some estate planners might find it preferable to sell the cryptocurrency as soon as they can seeing as the price of cryptocurrency tends to be very volatile.

The individuals themselves who own the crypto and wish to pass it onto their heirs have a responsibility as well. First of all, they need to declare all the digital assets they own in their will. If they don't do that, the fact that a lot of cryptocurrency is untraceable means that these assets could be lost forever. Secondly, owners of digital assets should give their heirs all the required information to access these assets in order to make sure that they remain accessible. Finally, the owners of the assets should mention how they would like these assets to be divided up between the heirs; otherwise, a legal battle may ensue over what constitutes an equitable and fair distribution.

Given how nascent the cryptocurrency space is, it should come as no surprise that the law surrounding it is still trying to catch up, meaning that even judges have some learning to do. If anyone feels confused or doesn't know what to do with their digital assets, they might reach out to a professional lawyer who may be able to provide assistance.

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