HM Insights

What happens to my cryptocurrency when I die?

As the number of people with digital assets increases, it is important to ensure that your digital assets are able to be dealt with after your death.

Digital assets include online accounts such as online bank accounts, email and social media accounts, as well as cryptocurrency such a Bitcoin. The popularity of cryptocurrency including Bitcoin has increased in the last few years, particularly as a result of recent investment from companies such as Tesla. It has been reported, by comparison site Finder, that the number of people who have bought cryptocurrency in the UK has increased by 558% since 2018 when just 3% of the population owned cryptocurrency.

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Create an inventory

By nature, there will not be any hard copy paperwork for this type of asset. As a result your Executor may be unaware of their existence when you die. The first step to ensuring that your digital assets are able to be dealt with and are not overlooked would be to create an inventory of them assets. The inventory should identify the digital account/asset and include any account numbers or email addresses linked to the accounts.

This inventory should sit alongside or be included with a list of 'traditional' assets such as bank accounts, pensions and stocks and shares. Your Executor should also be made aware of the inventory. The inventory should be kept up-to-date, particularly as passwords need to be changed on a regular basis and also be stored in a safe place.

As well as ensuring that your Executor is aware of your digital assets, some digital assets such as cryptocurrency may require access to a 'digital wallet'. This information should be kept secure and you may wish to tell someone you trust such as your Executor, how this information can be accessed.

Get in touch

Harper Macleod's Private Client team are experts in drafting Wills and in the administration of estates.

Useful links

Making a will Scotland