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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Regular Wills vs. Crypto Wills

Most people want to pass down their assets in accordance with their wishes, with minimal costs, minimal delays, and minimal strife amongst the heirs. Yet there are several problems with using traditional Wills to accomplish these goals. These problems include: not having one’s wishes honored because of losing one’s Will; or having your the Will challenged by heirs; not addressing the distribution of all the of your assets because the Will was written years before death and new assets have been acquired; and high costs of lawyers, h costs needed to pay to lawyers, courts, and executors to finalize the Will.

CryptoWills, which use blockchain, may address some of these problems. First, if the data is stored on blockchain, it cannot be lost. Second, using blockchain makes it easier for the Testator to modify the document, without any involvement from the lawyer. Finally, the settlement of the Will using Smart Contracts may eliminate the need for an Executor or the Court to pass down your electronic assets. Your electronic assets may be automatically passed down, without the need for you to share your key to access to your digital wealth with your lawyers or your heirs (who may not even understand crypto currency to begin with).

Currently, Crypto Wills, using blockchain, are designing methods that will address these issues. One potential idea is to combine all your digital accounts into one file, encrypt them with a private key and distribute parts of the key amongst heirs listed in the Will. Even though blockchain technology is supposed to be completely secure, nonetheless attempts have been made to hack various systems and some have been successful. Dividing the key to blockchain assets amongst several ultimate heirs may be one way to ensure that funds remain protected.

Unfortunately, at this point, Crypto Wills cannot address bequeathing of all your assets. If you have real estate, bank, or brokerage accounts, a traditional Will is still needed to pass these to your heirs in accordance with your wishes. However, given the rise of the values and acceptance of electronic assets, having both a traditional Will and a Crypto Will may soon be a necessity and not a luxury.

Blockchain Apparatus, Proof of Existence, Will and Testament Coin, and SafeHaven are the current platforms that have or are in the process of developing CryptoWill technologies for Crypto Wills.


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