Leaving Cryptocurrency in your Will

12th May 2021

Owning cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is becoming increasingly common and one issue that is starting to become more prominent now is how to deal with these types of assets on your death.

It is generally thought that millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency has been lost forever, simply because the owners of those assets died without leaving a plan in place for how their executors or beneficiaries should access their digital wallet.

Cryptocurrency would form part of your estate like any other asset, and is also taxed for inheritance tax purposes like any other asset, and can be left in your will to one or more beneficiaries. In some ways though, the most important issue is ensuring that someone can access the cryptocurrency wallet after your death.

There are several ways this can be done, but one thing people should never do is share details of the private key to the wallet in the will itself, not least because the will becomes a public document once probate has been obtained and therefore in theory anyone could have access to the wallet and the cryptocurrency within it. 

If you do own cryptocurrency it is important to consider these issues when you come to draw up your will and to put in place a plan or arrangements so that any cryptocurrency can be accessed.

Colman Coyle has considerable experience in advising in relation to the preparation of wills and if you would like to discuss the issues raised here, please contact Patrick Green on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or patrick.green@colmancoyle.com.

Patrick Green

Patrick Green

Senior Associate