Choosing an executor can be very difficult if you feel you don’t have many choices, especially if you own non-traditional assets such as Bitcoin. We previously discussed this topic, generally (https://anthonyspark.com/help-i-dont-have-an-executor-for-my-will/), but what about Bitcoin?
Whether it’s because your friends and family lack knowledge, or because you don’t want to leave behind stress or drama, there are many reasons why so many Bitcoiners feel they don’t have anyone to name as their executor.
Your Family and Friends Don’t Understand Bitcoin
You are afraid that when you pass, they will lose your Bitcoin. They don’t understand custody or any basic security protocols (OPSEC).
Another worry is that your family and friends will dump it, and immediately turn it into cash. They might fall for the hype that it is bad for the environment or actively believe it’s a “ponzi scheme.”
Or they may just be completely clueless; never heard of Bitcoin.
You Don’t Want to Burden Your Bitcoin Friends
Maybe you have friends in the developer/Bitcoin community who are technically savvy enough, but you’re not close enough to ask them to take on this big job. Appointing an executor requires trust, and executorship is a burdensome job (lots of time and work).
Besides, Bitcoin may only be a small portion of your entire estate. I’d guess that most technologically advanced folks will get SUPER frustrated by the archaic parts of probate. As we know, probate includes lots of phone calls, faxes, standing in line, all without many apps or elegant solutions. Your friend who is used to cutting edge technology probably won’t want to stand in line to close your bank accounts with a physical signature. They’ll be ripping their hair out and looking for a way to do it online!
You Don’t Want to Cause Disputes Among Your Family and Friends
Even if you have family members or friends who can do the job, the rest of your heirs (who don’t understand Bitcoin) may have a million questions, suspicions, and doubts. The heirs’ lack of Bitcoin knowledge, compared to the executor, will breed suspicion of the executor. Your executor will probably be frustrated with the constant questions and doubts.
When all the heirs and executors know each other and there is distrust, it can ruin relationships, cause resentment, and tear families apart. It’s easier for a completely independent executor to weather that storm.
You Can’t Find a Suitable Service
Most technically knowledgeable custody service providers (Casa, Unchained) have great inheritance guidance, but, to my knowledge, they don’t offer executor services. Their advice is to talk to your attorney.
You can also find someone like myself.
Or you can look for a bank to serve as an executor. However, banks have high liquid asset requirements. Most Bitcoiners who are self-custodied probably don’t trust the banks anyway…
Do Any of These Situations Apply to You?
If any of these situations apply to you, your best solution may be hiring a professional Bitcoin executor. Some of the benefits we offer:
- We have a fully staffed office available to handle all the various burdensome tasks that come with being an executor.
- We are focused on and committed to staying up to date on Bitcoin custody, OPSEC, and other need-to-know issues surrounding Bitcoin inheritance.
- Choosing an independent executor, instead of friends or family, can help prevent drama and disputes, since a professional executor is a neutral and unbiased party.
- We’re bonded and carry malpractice insurance to cover any wrongdoing as executor. This provides an additional layer of protection you wouldn’t get when working with a loved one, friend, or even a trusted financial planner or accountant.
How Do You Appoint a Professional Bitcoin Executor?
Name us in your will or trust
Just tell your estate planning attorney that you appoint Anthony Park as executor. In most cases, using estate planning software yourself is fine, too.
Next, schedule a call with me to make sure we’re a good fit. Then send us a pdf copy of your fully signed will/trust so I know I’ve been formally nominated.
After that, we will have annual check-in calls to stay in touch.
Nominate Us as Executor After Someone Has Died
After someone has passed away, the heirs may realize that person owned Bitcoin and they become intimated. Even if I am not named in the will or trust, there is a process for naming me post-death. It requires a little more work, but in most situations, we can work with the court and get appointed as executor even after death. The heirs can rest assured that we will now handle everything for them.
In review: just because your executor knows about Bitcoin now doesn’t mean they will still have knowledge of the ever-evolving process when you pass away. Even letters of instruction for your executor can become outdated fast! The best solution is to hire an independent professional executor who is committed to staying up to date on Bitcoin.
Probate (can apply to Bitcoin)
To learn more about executorship in general, check out my book, “How to Hire an Executor,” available on Amazon. Or you can call us and we’ll be happy to speak with you.
I’ve received more and more questions on this topic, and I am actually slated to speak at a the Adopting Bitcoin conference in El Salvador. Hopefully, I will meet some of you down there and I’ll be happy to answer your individual questions.