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How to account for digital assets in an estate plan

Since there are now many new types of assets available to New Yorkers, it's important to know how to account for them in an estate plan. For instance, those who have digital coins will need to find a way to grant access to executors and other designated parties. Currently, 42 states have laws allowing digital assets to be managed in a similar fashion to physical assets.

Ideally, digital assets will be stored in one location for easy access. In fact, one could keep a copy of a digital currency wallet on a USB drive that is kept in a secure location. Individuals should update their cryptocurrency holdings on a weekly to annual basis depending on how often they trade. To further organize a digital estate, it is a good idea to keep a list of passwords and other information needed to access a given account.

In coming years, it may become possible to create an electronic will that can be signed electronically as well. As laws evolve, rules may be put in place to help both executors and probate judges determine what to do with digital currencies that can quickly fluctuate in value. Typically, these currencies are sold quickly to lock in the highest possible price and to help executors avoid criticism.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan could make it easier to preserve assets for future generations. For example, creating a trust may allow assets to skip probate and go right to a beneficiary. The same may occur if a beneficiary designation is added to a bank account or similar item. An attorney may assist in creating or modifying estate plan documents for a client.

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