For business owners and individuals alike, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become an increasingly essential financial tool in recent years. With Bitcoin, you can purchase merchandise anonymously and make cheap and secure international payments because bitcoins are not affiliated with any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses often use Bitcoins to avoid credit card fees, and individuals invest in cryptocurrencies in the hopes they’ll make a profit.

However, if you own any cryptocurrencies, you mustn’t neglect to include them in your estate plan. Otherwise, your heirs may unintentionally discard or lose a significant portion of your wealth – especially if they are not as familiar with cryptocurrencies as you are. Here’s everything you need to know about integrating cryptocurrency into your end of life plans.

Secure your cryptocurrency

Banks and governments do not back Bitcoins; users store their Bitcoins in a digital wallet or on their computer. While cryptocurrency is highly secure, security could be in jeopardy if someone gains access to your private key or seed phrase. Your estate plan should include how to keep this information safe and how your heirs can properly transfer cryptocurrency to avoid the delays and costs of traditional currency.

Plan for the risks of cryptocurrency

Because no banks or governments regulate cryptocurrencies, they are not held responsible for any losses due to scams, theft, hacks or other wrongdoing. For this reason, you should take additional steps to protect your cryptocurrency from losses. The value of cryptocurrency can also fluctuate dramatically, so you should treat it as a stock in a private company or other volatile assets.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming an increasingly common new type of currency for the digital era. By accounting for your cryptocurrency in your estate plan, you can ensure your heirs do not miss out on a substantial portion of your assets.