Although cryptocurrency may be one of the latest investment strategies with great potential, for some individuals and their loved ones, investing in cryptocurrency has not gone as planned. The following stories are each a little different, but they all underline one simple warning: if you own cryptocurrency, you need a plan.
Impact of Volatility on Estate Administration
Matthew Mellon, an investor and businessperson who was a member of two prominent families, the Mellons and the Drexels, died in April 2018. At the time of his death, his estate was estimated to be worth approximately $200 million. Much of his wealth came from a $2 million investment in the cryptocurrency XRP, managed by the company Ripple.
Mellon died with an outdated will that did not mention his cryptocurrency. It was later discovered that he kept the keys to his cryptocurrency on various devices throughout the country and under other people’s names. Fortunately, his lawyers were able to access his cryptocurrency by working with Ripple. However, it is extremely rare for anyone to be able to access cryptocurrency without a plan.
Because the value of the XRP fluctuated by approximately 30 percent in the weeks after Mellon’s death, it was crucial that the XRP be liquidated quickly to pay his outstanding debts, income tax obligations, and estate tax. However, Mellon had entered into an agreement with Ripple that limited the amount of XRP that could be sold at a given time. This delayed the wrapping up of his affairs. By the end of 2019, his estate was worth less than half of the original value at his time of death because the XRP had lost about two-thirds of its […]