How to leave Bitcoin in a will? - Safe Haven

How to leave Bitcoin in a will?

Back to wiki

Can you leave Bitcoin in a will? Let’s dig into it.

Bitcoin is a relatively new asset and many questions remain about the management of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. For example: what happens to your Bitcoin when you die?

Bitcoin and other digital assets have become an integral part of our contemporary society. The domains in which you use Bitcoin have also increased dramatically.

Cryptocurrencies are no longer an invisible toy for geeks or a part of a social experiment, but they have become a common means of payment, to play online games for example or to invest in gold and precious metals.

More and more institutions are accepting Bitcoin as a regular way to pay for services or for goods. And even if shops or merchants aren’t accepting Bitcoin as a payment, there are plenty of debit cards available to pay with crypto without the merchant noticing. such as the debit card of Binance, Crypto.com or FTX.

So, how can you safely manage your digital assets in the future and can you leave Bitcoin in a will? In this article, we will explain how to make a proper estate plan and how to safely leave Bitcoin in a will thanks to Inheriti®.

Bitcoin and digital assets are lost too often

There are many stories about how Bitcoin and other digital assets have been lost. Many early adopters bought Bitcoin out of curiosity, but because they lost interest in them or their personal computer crashed, these assets were lost. As Bitcoin rose in value, the owners naturally regretted it. Some of these users went so far as to search for their old laptop at the recycling park, so to speak, to recover their coins anyway.

What happens to your bitcoin wallet when you die?

In a mature cryptocurrency market, as we know it today, you might ask what happens to your Bitcoin wallet when you die. The answer is that there are both old-fashioned and customized solutions to this. Albeit one safer than the other. 

The old-fashioned, centralized and vulnerable way: have your private key literally included in your will

It is important to know that Bitcoin is built on a blockchain: a decentralized and public ledger. Every Bitcoin holder is part of this blockchain. Therefore, in the world of cryptocurrencies, there are no intermediaries such as brokers, bankers or notaries.

Of course, you can appeal to these classic authorities to leave access to your Bitcoin or other digital assets in your will. For example, it is possible to create a document on which you write down the private key of your Bitcoin wallet. You can have this included in your will.

You can also choose to keep this document in a safe. Access to the safe is then under the control of the notary, who ensures that everyone included in the will is present at the time the safe is opened.

Even without a notary, you can make certain arrangements. For example, you can hire a lawyer or other trusted person who will have instructions for you on what to do if you want to leave Bitcoin in your will.

But how safe is this? There should be better ways, right?

Leave Bitcoin in a will in a safe and decentralized way

None of the centralized solutions above are ideal and run somewhat counter to the philosophy of cryptocurrencies. After all, they are centralized solutions. You write a private key on a piece of paper and give it to someone. However, what happens if the wrong person gets hold of this piece of paper? Or what if it gets lost? In other words, you are dependent on external and centralized data, while the philosophy of cryptocurrencies is precisely the decentralized aspect.

For example, in the open public ledger of transactions on a blockchain, everyone can see what transactions are happening. Surely such openness should also be possible for inheritances.

Granting access to the private key of your Bitcoin after you die

The only 100% decentralized and thus secure solution is to create an “Inheritance Plan” through Inheriti® and transfer (encrypted shares of) sensitive data such as the private key of your Bitcoin wallet after your death without anyone else being able to access it. Important to note here is that you never directly leave your Bitcoin or other digital assets in your will or inheritance plan, but rather the access to the digital wallet where your assets are located.

The necessary data to access your Bitcoin wallet (guidelines, private key, …) is encrypted and split into shares and beneficiaries keep the data on a cold storage device such as the SafeKey.

Beneficiaries can then recover the necessary data for the private key by putting all the encrypted shares together in Inheriti® and Inheriti® will do the rest.

This gives you a safe and secure solution where heirs can’t scam each other, without the need or involvement of an intermediary such as a notary, banker or lawyer.

Isn’t that what crypto and decentralization is all about, to remove all middlemen?

Leave Bitcoin in a will with a well secured and intuitive program

The purpose of using Inheriti® is to make the private key of your Bitcoin wallet accessible after your death only, and not having to share it while you’re still alive. 

Using Inheriti® is simple and easy. By using a wizard, you choose a number of beneficiaries or heirs as part of your inheritance plan. Furthermore, you can also designate a few backups, who will receive the necessary information after your death in case the primary beneficiaries are also no longer alive or a cold storage device gets lost.

Once you have entered all the data, Inheriti® adds the inheritance plan to the blockchain. It’s important to note that by encrypting your data and splitting it into different shares, Inheriti® never stores or even is able to read your data. 

You can choose the moment when the so-called “dead man switch” becomes active. This is the trigger for releasing the encrypted data and access to your Bitcoin wallet to your heirs. If you die unexpectedly one of the heirs can launch a trigger to activate the dead man switch, provided it is validated by the other heirs. If someone wishes to access your wallet while you are still alive, you will receive a notification for this so you can intervene.

Secure your Bitcoin after your death and setup an Inheritance Plan with Inheriti®

The user-friendly user interface and the transparency of your inheritance plan make it that Inheriti® offers you a great and reliable standard. If you want more information, or if you want to create your own inheritance plan and leave Bitcoin in a will, be sure to check out all features of Inheriti®.

Back to wiki