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How do I pass on my cryptocurrency? Plus the Digital Blockchain Trust (DBT) explained.

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How do I pass on my cryptocurrency? Plus the Digital Blockchain Trust (DBT) explained.

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💻Online at: mcelderlaw.com/scheduling.

Digital Blockchain Trust (DBT) Whitepaper

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Theoretically, a Digital Blockchain Trust or DBT for short, is a type of digital instrument that holds information. The information tracks your crypto holdings and acts based on certain information. For example, if you were to pass away, the DBT, once it verifies your demise as a Verifiable Death Event (VDE), would instantly preform a set of preset instructions. You may set up the DBT to instantly split 20% of your crypto holdings and send it to a charity of your preselected choice. The other 80% being split amongst your children who will receive an email, text, or additional type of communication that prompts them to set up a password to access their Sub Trust Wallet (STW). The STW would require them to verify their identity through a set of pre-scripted identity verification points (IVPs) and set up their password and two factor authentication methods to access their very own digital crypto wallet. An alternative to this would be to send their percentage of your crypto in the DBT to their existing crypto wallet. Let’s say you have college age children and don’t want to give them everything all at once. You can easily build your DBT to make deposits to the STW for each child over time, let’s say a period of years. You may choose to giver the 10% of their share per year for the next 10 years starting when they reach 25 years of age. Walla, your trust has been administered.

What is missing here? Well, a human trustee would generally handle all the trust administration. However, in a DBT the trustee is essentially the information or set of instructions encoded in the DBT. The DBT acts on your preset instructions. This avoids any chance of fraud or misuse of funds by a trustee and ensures that the instructions encoded in your DBT are carried out exactly as you intended. You are essentially acting as the trustee through the DBT after you have passed away. This is a massive improvement over traditional trust documents and is the future of estate planning.

As more and more assets move to a digital blockchain world the ability to safely and securely administer these assets when the asset owner passes away will become increasingly important. We intend to be at the forefront of this new(ish) blockchain frontier. You may put off planning for the future, but the future has a plan for you either way. It’s your digital choice.

Greg McIntyre

Crypto, Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

What Happens To My Crypto When I Die?

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

What really happens to my cryptocurrency when I die? Can I pass it to my loved ones and if so how?

Cryptocurrency is all the rage. There are great risks but great rewards. Decentralized currencies and the decentralized finance network along with smart contracts will change the way we buy goods, invest, borrow money, and even buy insurance. Many of our client’s own cryptocurrency but most have no idea how to include it in their estate plan. The future of blockchain currency and finance is here, right now. Let’s talk about some traditional legal tools that can effectively leave a crypto legacy for your loved ones and some new tools that are on the horizon.

Can I pass Crypto in a will?

You may pass your cryptocurrency in a will similar to how you pass other assets. However, precautions should be taken. A separate writing with accounts and passwords should be created but not filed with the will when you pass away. This document may be referenced but should not be filed in the public court record. This separate document will be the keys to your digital accounts and allow your executor ones to access them and pass them to your heirs in shares of your choice. Any factor authentication process should be explained and devices to be used for this process specified. Most popular crypto trading platforms like Coinbase have a process whereby an executor may access accounts upon proving their court granted authority. The drawback of passing your cryptocurrency with a will is that it is subjected to the rather lengthy probate process whereas a trust avoids the court probate process altogether.

Can I pass Crypto in a trust?

A trust can actually own a crypto account or rather, a cryptocurrency account may be created in the name of that trust allowing the trustee to manage that account during life the same as their personal account. Upon death, the successor trustee(s) would take over control of the account or multiple accounts and continue to administer those accounts as per the rules set up in the trust. The trust administration process may be carried out by the trustee, often with guidance from an attorney. Should you specify your beneficiaries to receive your crypto holdings and in what shares in the trust document, the trustee is bound, legally, to ensure those beneficiaries receive their specified share in a timely manner.

The same precautions should be taken with the trust as with the will, although the trust is not generally filed in a court probate proceeding. A separate writing with accounts and passwords should be created that will be referenced in the trust. Any factor authentication process should be explained and devices to be used for this process specified.

What is a Digital Blockchain Trust?

Theoretically, a Digital Blockchain Trust or DBT for short, is a type of digital instrument that holds information. The information tracks your crypto holdings and acts based on certain information. For example, if you were to pass away, the DBT, once it verifies your demise as a Verifiable Death Event (VDE), would instantly preform a set of preset instructions. You may set up the DBT to instantly split 20% of your crypto holdings and send it to a charity of your preselected choice. The other 80% being split amongst your children who will receive an email, text, or additional type of communication that prompts them to set up a password to access their Sub Trust Wallet (STW). The STW would require them to verify their identity through a set of pre-scripted identity verification points (IVPs) and set up their password and two factor authentication methods to access their very own digital crypto wallet. An alternative to this would be to send their percentage of your crypto in the DBT to their existing crypto wallet. Let’s say you have college age children and don’t want to give them everything all at once. You can easily build your DBT to make deposits to the STW for each child over time, let’s say a period of years. You may choose to giver the 10% of their share per year for the next 10 years starting when they reach 25 years of age. Walla, your trust has been administered.

What is missing here? Well, a human trustee would generally handle all the trust administration. However, in a DBT the trustee is essentially the information or set of instructions encoded in the DBT. The DBT acts on your preset instructions. This avoids any chance of fraud or misuse of funds by a trustee and ensures that the instructions encoded in your DBT are carried out exactly as you intended. You are essentially acting as the trustee through the DBT after you have passed away. This is a massive improvement over traditional trust documents and is the future of estate planning.

As more and more assets move to a digital blockchain world the ability to safely and securely administer these assets when the asset owner passes away will become increasingly important. We intend to be at the forefront of this new(ish) blockchain frontier. Please contact our office for a free in person, virtual or phone consultation to begin planning for your future today. You may put off planning for the future, but the future has a plan for you either way. It’s your digital choice.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

written by:

Greg McIntyre

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

greg@mcelderlaw.com

4 Signs It Is Time To Consider A Trust

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

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As a free gift to you, and during this trying time for all of us, I would offer a free consult at one of our locations. We are located in Charlotte, Shelby, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, covering most of Western North Carolina. In addition, we also offer virtual and phone consults to people across the state of North Carolina. I’m with you during this pandemic. We’re all going through this together. Let’s make sure that we have our affairs in order. Take care of ourselves first, and then our loved ones and our family. Thank you. Have a great day.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

6 Steps to Writing Your Will

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

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As a free gift to you, and during this trying time for all of us, I would offer a free consult at one of our locations. We are located in Charlotte, Shelby, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, covering most of Western North Carolina. In addition, we also offer virtual and phone consults to people across the state of North Carolina. I’m with you during this pandemic. We’re all going through this together. Let’s make sure that we have our affairs in order. Take care of ourselves first, and then our loved ones and our family. Thank you. Have a great day.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

Do I have an Estate?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Well…let’s start by answering the following question: “What is an estate?”

An estate is all property, both real and personal, owned by a particular person. Sometimes this definition extends out to families and other groups of people that have jointly titled assets. There is a common misconception that having an “estate” is exclusive to a land or homeowner. Images of the grandiose landscape and architecture of the Biltmore estate come time mind, or even Uncle Scrooge counting his dollars and stacking his coins. But, don’t be fooled. At common law, a person’s estate, commonly referred to as their “net worth,” is the sum of a person’s assets less all liabilities at a particular point in time.

Now that you know what an estate is, let’s answer the following important question: “Do you have an estate?”

I bet you do…and even if you don’t, you likely will at some point. Your assets, including your rights, interests, and entitlements under the law, are part of your estate. Whether your estate is large or small, having a plan is essential.

So, what is estate planning?

Estate planning is defined as the process of anticipating and arranging for the management and disposal of a person’s estate during their life and after their death. This planning is done by the individual themselves, during their own lifetime. Common planning tools include a General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and a Last Will & Testament. That said, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to estate planning because different people have different goals.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of commonly held goals for estate planning purposes:

  • Ensure a spouse, children, or grandchildren receive an inheritance
  • Donations to charity
  • Nominations of guardians for minors
  • Probate planning and avoidance
  • Advanced tax planning and minimizing estate tax implications
  • Appointing legal decision makers during your lifetime to assist as needed
  • Transfers of Real Property
  • Trust drafting to protect and preserve legacies
  • Planning for the end of life

The ultimate goal of estate planning is to fulfill the specific goals of the individual. Get clear on your goals and have a discussion with an experienced estate planning attorney to learn more. Be sure to discuss the variety of options available to achieve your stated goals, as well as any foreseeable advantages/disadvantages to each potential planning step.

Having a plan, especially during a time of crisis, is invaluable. The absence of a plan often leads to panic and added expense. Take the steps today to protect your hard-earned money and property and ensure that you have a plan in place to reduce risk and uncertainty as much as possible.

The experienced professionals at McIntyre Elder Law can help you navigate the estate planning landscape. Reach out to schedule your free consultation at 704-749-9244 or visit us at our website www.mcelderlaw.com/scheduling

Therron Causey

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

How To Kill A Trust

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

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As a free gift to you, and during this trying time for all of us, I would offer a free consult at one of our locations. We are located in Charlotte, Shelby, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, covering most of Western North Carolina. In addition, we also offer virtual and phone consults to people across the state of North Carolina. I’m with you during this pandemic. We’re all going through this together. Let’s make sure that we have our affairs in order. Take care of ourselves first, and then our loved ones and our family. Thank you. Have a great day.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

The Death Tax is Coming Back!

in Articles, Attorney Advisor Series by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

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As a free gift to you, and during this trying time for all of us, I would offer a free consult at one of our locations. We are located in Charlotte, Shelby, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, covering most of Western North Carolina. In addition, we also offer virtual and phone consults to people across the state of North Carolina. I’m with you during this pandemic. We’re all going through this together. Let’s make sure that we have our affairs in order. Take care of ourselves first, and then our loved ones and our family. Thank you. Have a great day.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

3 Things to Be Prepared For Anything!

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

Hi, I’m Greg McIntyre, Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney. I know that many of you out there have been affected by this pandemic. I know that I have been, and our office has been. I wanted to write something to help us all be prepared no matter what happens. I have seen friends lose loved ones, be unable to visit them in the hospital, be unprepared for the passing of a loved one. Here are 3 ways I think you can be better prepared, come what may.

Okay, the three things that you should have in place to be prepared no matter what happens. This pandemic has been hard on all of us. It’s been hard on me. It’s been hard on our clients and their families. So I’ve taken the time to write about thee three things, and I’m going to go over to them now that you’ll learn and you’ll know by the end of this article. One, financial power of attorney/general durable power of attorney. Two, health care, power of attorney. They may sound like simple things and simple documents, but they’re not. And three, disposition and protection of assets by will, trust, or deed planning.

  • FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY: So let’s dive right into it. Number one, a financial power of attorney, also called a general durable power of attorney is quite possibly the most important document you can have in place if something happens, if you become incompetent or incapacitated due to anything, including the pandemic. If you have your financial power of attorney in place, you’ve appointed an agent the ability to manage your financial affairs to make sure the band plays on, the bills are paid, to make sure that assets can be shifted, legal planning can be done to protect your hard-earned money and property should you fail to do so. And to help qualify you for benefits should you need assisted living or nursing home care. This document is extremely important, and it’s also important that you choose a trusted individual to play this role.

General Durable Powers of Attorneys are not simple documents. We need to take into account whether the agent can gift to themselves and if so, how much. Between a husband and wife, gifting might be unlimited to shift assets around if needed to do whatever’s necessary to protect assets and achieve family goals.

  • HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY: Healthcare powers of attorney should have HIPAA authorizations built-in to allow for the healthcare agent to pull medical records if they need to. Would it be important to appoint a trusted individual to make your important healthcare decisions if you’re on a ventilator, if you couldn’t speak, if you were incompetent, incapacitated, or in a drug-induced coma? These things are happening all around us right now, and you need to think about who are you going to appoint to make these important decisions?

A living will is something I didn’t say in the three, but we can talk about that with a healthcare power of attorney. If I’m terminal, incurable, maybe brain death has occurred, I’m being maintainable on a respirator or a ventilator, is it okay to let me go at that point? At what point is it okay to let me go? Those are things that you can define in a living will document and not just leave it up to your relatives or a court-appointed person to make those decisions. You take control, and you’re proactive here.

  • WILLS, TRUSTS, DEED PLANNING: Number three, disposition and protection of assets. How are things going to pass to heirs? Do you have underage children, grandchildren? How are those things going to be cared for? Are they going to help them go to college or are they going to receive money and property in one lump sum? Trusts can do things that are similar but are not subject to the court process of probate.

Liens attach during probate. So, if you need long-term care, liens can attach during a probate process. Irrevocable and a revocable trust. We can talk about those and how those can work to avoid probate and protect your assets. Also, deed protection. Deed protection is also a simple and cost-effective way to protect your real estate, your home. Tenants in common with rights of survivorship deeds, ladybird deeds, also known as enhanced life estate deeds, traditional life estate deeds, how do those work, and how can they work to protect your property and pass that property to your loved ones.

As a free gift to you, and during this trying time for all of us, I would offer a free consult at one of our locations. We are located in Charlotte, Shelby, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, covering most of Western North Carolina. In addition, we also offer virtual and phone consults to people across the state of North Carolina. I’m with you during this pandemic. We’re all going through this together. Let’s make sure that we have our affairs in order. Take care of ourselves first, and then our loved ones and our family. Thank you. Have a great day.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today!

Is Your Retirement Account Protected?

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Leave a comment

It seems that we’ve all had the supposed benefits of traditional retirement accounts pounded into our heads. And while they do have some benefits, they also have some downsides that no one ever talks about. Let’s take a look at the potential liability these accounts face. 

Many states have laws that protect retirement accounts from lawsuits. Some states allow retirement accounts to been fully exempt from judgements. Others allow you to exempt only part of your retirement account.  However, even if your state’s laws exempt the entire account from creditors, you’re not completely out of the woods. 

Long-term Care

Long-term care is expensive. Many folks either 1) plan for using benefits ahead of time to pay for long-term care; or 2) end up using benefits after they’ve spent down all their money on long-term care. Obviously, planning ahead to qualify for benefits such as Medicaid to pay the cost of long-term care can help to preserve hard-earned money and property. 

The thing about Medicaid or any other long-term care benefit such as VA Pension Benefits, is that they are “means based,” meaning that you can only have a certain amount of assets if you want to qualify. This tends to turn many people off and keep them from applying for a potentially helpful benefit because they assume they must be indigent to qualify. 

That’s not entirely true. There are many assets you can keep e.g. a home, a car, life insurance, prepaid funeral etc., and still qualify.  What most people don’t know, however, is that your retirement account is an asset that counts against you for long-term care benefit qualification. Thus, if you have a substantial amount of assets in your retirement account, you may be disqualified from having your long-term care paid for. 

Estate Tax

Not everyone is subject to the estate tax. In fact, your gross estate must reach a certain value at the time of death before it can be subject to federal estate tax–this is called the “estate tax threshold.” For the last few years, the estate tax hasn’t been a factor for most. However, the threshold is subject to being lowered and will be lowered in the very near future. This means that more and more folks could be subject to significant taxation of their estate before those assets pass to their loved ones. 

I mentioned “gross estate” above. This refers to how the amount of assets one has at death are calculated to determine whether they are over the threshold. If your “gross estate” is over a certain amount (the threshold), you get taxed. 

That begs the question of what assets are included in the gross estate calculation. Despite some misunderstanding to the contrary, your retirement account will be included in that amount. Therefore, if you have substantial assets in a retirement account at the time of your death, it could \subject your entire estate to taxation. 

What makes Traditional Retirement Accounts Potentially Dangerous?

Let’s say you either need long-term care or you are trying to avoid the estate tax. In either instance, let’s say that you have substantial assets in a traditional retirement account. Based on your goal, you want to lower the number in that account. So, what’s the solution? You should move the money out of there, right?

Well, here’s the kicker. If you move the money, that means you must take it out of the traditional retirement account. And that means you must pay the tax on the money. Sounds scary right?

Here’s the thing, somebody at some point will have to pay the tax on that money anyway (maybe your child at a higher rate). If you move the money to something that can protect it, like a trust, then you pay the tax and get it over with. You also have the potential of qualifying for much needed long-term care benefits. However, if you wait, you could end up using the money in the retirement account to pay for long-term care while paying the tax everytime you make a payment to the facility. Furthermore, waiting could result in a hefty estate tax. 

Traditional retirement accounts may not be the holy relics that they have been  advertised to be. While they have their benefits, they are not without their flaws. If you have questions about retirement accounts and how to protect them, give the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Elder Law a call today  704-259-7040. 

Brenton S. Begley

Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney

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