If you’ve seen the news, whether tech, political, or otherwise, within the past few years, chances are that the word “cryptocurrency” has popped up on your feed. Cryptocurrency is a type of decentralized coinage. This digital asset is not reliant on a bank, government, or other central authority. Though cryptocurrency has its naysayers because of its volatile price and fluctuations, it seems that this digital asset is here to stay.

No matter whether you’re mining Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or any other major, minor, or exotic coin, cryptocurrency can have an impact on your estate plan. It is, after all, an asset, and it therefore falls under the umbrella of estate planning. In this article, we’ll discuss cryptocurrency trustee services and how they work. 

Can Cryptocurrency Be Placed In A Trust? 

A trust is a tri-party fiduciary relationship. The donor, also known as a grantee, transfers title of an asset to a trustee. This second party holds the asset for the beneficiary of the third party, also called the beneficiary. At the donor’s authorization, the trustee eventually transfers title to the beneficiary. 

Though you might think of a trust as holding only cash or property, cryptocurrency can be placed in a trust. This has a lot of benefits. Namely, your cryptocurrency will not be subject to an expensive, complex probate process if you pass away. 

Some Upsides To A Crypto Trust 

Before discussing who administers a trust, it is important to talk about why putting cryptocurrency into a trust could be a good idea. It’s understandable why some crypto holders might be wary. After all, they’ve chosen a decentralized currency for a reason. That said, here are some of the upsides to a crypto trust that you should know: 

  • Lessens Risk Of Loss. How do you access your cryptocurrency? Chances are, you have a wallet, password, key, and other digital safeguards that come with owning this type of asset. When you die, who knows these safeguards? If you put your crypto into a trust, there is a lower risk of it being lost after you die, as other people will have necessary information. 
  • Privacy. In addition to avoid the hassle of probate, a process that can cost your beneficiaries time and money, a trust allows you to keep your crypto private. It isn’t going through probate court, so hackers and scammers won’t catch wind of it. Everyone knows about high-profile crypto hackings, and you don’t want to give these cybercriminals any reason to latch onto you. 
  • Helps Beneficiaries. Your intended crypto recipient(s) won’t have to access and manage your Bitcoin or other crypto before it’s their time to do so. This relieves them of a rather immense burden, and a trusted individual with far more experience, such as a trust services company, will take over the reins. According to CNBC, 10% of people have some type of digital asset. So, companies and individuals have emerged that handle trustee services for cryptocurrency.

Trustee Services 

A trustee can be an individual, corporation, or other custodian. A trust company is a business tasked with the management, administration, and eventual asset-transfer to the trust’s beneficiary. This company acts as a custodian, and, though it can be nerve-wracking to give up control of your crypto to a company, there are some good reasons to go with a service, as opposed to appointing an individual (family member, friend, etc.).

Benefits of Trust Service Companies 

These companies can provide a lot of services to their clients from one central location. This saves a lot of time and effort, as clients do not have to coordinate financial assets, broker information, tax advisors, financial planners, and other services. These companies do charge fees, but their experience in protecting assets and managing investments makes them an attractive choice for some grantors.

If you own cryptocurrency, talk to an attorney about setting up a trust and potentially working with a trust services company. Our attorneys can help answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process.