Could your family find your Cryptos without you?
[1,650 Words : 5 to 7 Minute Read]
Making a “Crypto-Handover-Plan” to take-effect after we die isn’t easy.
A “Bad-Plan” creates security risks and “No-Plan”, well that’s very dangerous, as the Mellon Family discovered.
When I began my own off-the-top-of-my-head Crypto hand-over plan the problems soon arose. I realised I needed trustworthy, knowledgeable people to help my loved ones after I was gone and those people needed written instructions from me on how to access my Cryptos. Wow…I have to find people to trust with access to my Wallets AND I need to document that access and hope it doesn’t get found by someone else. Simple!
So I started to work through the risks, and as I did a basic model to help guide my actions began to emerge. You see designing ‘Process Models’ was a large part of my day job. So addressing risks with process models was just a logical way for me to go about completing my own handover plan.
Which is how I’ve came, about a year or so later, to be writing this Article. I’d like to freely share the final ‘Crypto Hand-Over’ model with the Crypto Community. I’m hoping it will help others avoid the issues that the Mellon family faced.
Three quick points before we continue:
- I’ve decided to launch a start-up company called NestEgg to help people with their own Crypto Hand-Over plans.
- However you DO NOT NEED to be a NestEgg Customer to use either the Model or the NestEgg Application
- Neither the NestEgg Model and Application TRANSFER YOUR CRYPTOS
- They Move information NOT the actual Assets themselves
You are free to use the NestEgg Model any way you wish to help you make your own Crypto Hand-Over plan and not pay us a penny. We’ll still be overjoyed we could help you.
A few points about ‘Process Models’ like the NestEgg Model…
- Process Models attempt to simplify complex real-world problems to help solve them.
- Models are not step-by-step checklists to follow exactly.
- They are general guides that can often need small changes to be of use.
- The NestEgg model is no exception.
- The Model breaks down the issues involved and provides you with guidelines to solve them.
- If those guidelines don’t exactly meet your needs then please adapt them so they do.
Before we continue. There is no need for you to ‘Remember’ everything you are about to read.
If you choose to use the NestEgg Model or the NestEgg application then we give you a Step-by-Step guide to follow.
This Template guides your actions, you do not need to make notes to follow as you read this or any of our other articles.
What about Risks?
The NestEgg Model doesn’t remove every possible risk involved in posthumously handing-over your Crypto assets.
The model helps:
- Identify the risks involved.
- Reduce those risks to a manageable level.
We’ve designed a Step-by-Step template to follow. Don’t worry about remembering everything you read in this Article, the Template will guide you accordingly.
Please note you DO NOT put Private Keys or Passwords into the NestEgg Application or use them in the NestEgg Model. That would be very silly of you and we strongly advise you don’t do that.
Now for another disclaimer. I am not a lawyer so please don’t consider anything in this article as legal advice.
This article and the others like it on www.nestegg.io are informational. We provide them free of charge without warranty or guarantees.
As you work through the Model you may feel that professional advice will help you. If you feel a need to speak to a Lawyer or Accountant, then we encourage you to do so.
How the NestEgg Model works.
The Model works like this:
- It guides as you setup the ‘First Draft’ of your Crypto Hand Over plan
- This protects your assets as quickly as possible
- Then you can re-visit each section of your Plan to refine them, at a time convenient for you
- If you try to make the first draft of your Plan ‘Perfect’ the chances are you will end up frustrated and not complete your Plan.
- So we make a ‘First Draft‘ first (see what I did there) and then refine the Plan in easy stages afterwards.
The Model is designed to:
- Help you transfer ownership of your Cryptos to your Beneficiaries.
- Without your direct participation in those transfers.
- Ensure that you keep complete control of your portfolio, it’s access details and you keep this confidential.
- Reduce the risks involved in doing this to a level you can accept.
- No single part of the model will offer a 100% guarantee that the risks will not become real
- Instead each part reinforces and complements the others.
- The various parts combined work to reduce risks and incentivise your Trustees to work together honestly
Who is the model for?
- Anyone who owns any amount of Crypto, large or small.
- Regular people without advanced coding or cyber-security skills.
- People whose Cryptos (and capital) are bought in online Crypto Exchanges and use Software, Hardware or Paper wallets to store those Cryptos.
When is NestEgg for?
I want these articles to focus on the NestEgg Model, not the NestEgg Application. However here is a question I was asked.
“Will the NestEgg Business be around in twenty years and if not how can I trust it to help me today?”
Answer: NestEgg and/or the NestEgg model are solutions for now. For the next time you drive to work or cross the street.
The technology and laws that apply to Crypto Currency are going to evolve over the years to come. Today’s solutions for problems will also change and evolve as will your own circumstances. Your Plan will change over time as well.
The Parts of the NestEgg Model
These are people who will help your beneficiaries access and dispense your assets. You will need the help of several people with different skill sets. We discuss this in detail and offer some advice on choosing Trustees in the Template document.
We suggest that your Trustees:
- Do not know each other.
- Do not know the size of your Crypto Portfolio.
- Are not informed of the identities of the other Trustees.
These suggestions are designed to:
- Prevent any discussion about your affairs between your Trustees.
- Even well-meaning discussion can introduce risks, particularly over Instant Messenger or Email.
- It also removes the temptation for Trustees to collude with each other in advance.
Obviously these precautions do not prevent anything bad from happening. But they do help reduce those risks, ideally to a level where you are comfortable.
2. Crypto Inventory:
Passing an accurate inventory to your Beneficiaries is important.
The Model allows you to hand-over your Exchange and Wallet Public Wallet ID’s.
This gives your beneficiaries:
- Exact knowledge of your assets
- An audit ability for those assets using any applicable blockchain explorers.
The Inventory is designed to introduce a level of accountability over your Trustees to deliver 100% of your assets.
You also provide your Trustees with documented instructions showing them how to access your Inventory.
These will pass the following information to your Trustees:
- The names of the exchanges you use.
- Access details for your wallets and decentralised / anonymous exchanges.
- Instructions and messages for your loved ones.
Yes this is risky stuff to be writing down. So we show you a method that splits this information into two separate sets of documents. Each set of documents is meaningless without the other.
One Set of documents is sent to your Trustees, but only if it appears something has happened to you. The other Set of documents you print out and hide safely somewhere where you have daily access to it.
Why do we do things this way?
- If either set of documents is read prematurely you will know
- Then you can take steps to protect the other set
- Thus disabling access to your Crypto portfolio.
- You can also introduce controls to control how the documents are combined ‘after’ you have left us
- Both sets can be combined in a controlled environment (your lawyers office perhaps)
- So any transfer of assets can take place in a supervised environment
This approach does not guarantee that something bad won’t happen. Yes there are ‘What-If‘ scenarios that might disrupt your plans.
However if your Trustees are Trustworthy and unlikely to collaborate against you and your two sets of Documents are safely managed this will reduce risk of those ‘What-Ifs‘ considerably.
4. Document Handover:
This is the process that gives your Documents to your Trustees should the unexpected happen.
We give you various ‘Document Handover’ options to consider. Our application, “NestEgg” is one option but there are others for you to choose from. You can use people to perform this handover, you can use Technology or a combination of both.
It’s also important to repeat that the Application and Model move information only. They do not move your actual Crypto coins.
Using the Model…
At first our aim is to get you protected relatively quickly.
From there we return to parts of the Model again to improve them and continue to reduce the risks involved. If you try to setup the ‘perfect’ hand-over plan at the first go you will get frustrated with the sheer volume of detail to manage and give up.
So Please resist the urge to make your hand-over plan perfect on your first attempt. This will take you a little time.
You can now either:
- Have the Steps of the Model explained to you quickly before proceeding to start work using the Temple. [This link will follow later in Dec 2018]
- OR jump straight to the Template and begin working on your Plan and pick things up as you work. [This link will follow later in Dec 2018]