A legal firm responsible for the UK’s first “webcam wills” service has launched another first – helping to provide “cryptocurrency wills.”
Bristol-based ELM Legal Services recently launched its online will writing and estate planning service, allowing clients to hold face-to-face meetings with its legal professionals which encompasses face to face meeting online via webcam.
ELM, adapting to the social distancing restrictions and surging use of webcam technology brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, brought forward the original autumn launch date for its webcam wills service.
Now the business is partnering with leading cryptocurrency protection and insurance company Coincover to provide the first “crypto wills” webcam service. The new service is for people who want to leave financial assets to loved ones in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Based in Cardiff, Coincover is the #1 brand in crypto protection and works in partnership with leading crypto businesses around the world. Coincover provides a complete protection package for cryptocurrency holders. From deposit protection, crypto key storage and security, theft insurance and accumulation plans for individual investors, through to, corporate-level coverage for fund managers, professional traders and business customers.
Coincover’s Cryptocurrency Will includes an “indestructible” ownership card. The card can be used to identify the carrier’s cryptocurrency without them needing to hand over critical security information.
When a person dies, the executor contacts Coincover with a unique number on the card, along with a death certificate. Coincover will then investigate and verify the details before unlocking the digital wallet and retrieving the funds.
“More and more people are asking us about adding cryptocurrency to their will and this is the first and only service which guarantees that a person’s cryptocurrency is fully retrievable after death” says Jim Emsley, CEO of ELM Legal Services.
“Our partnership with Coincover is a case of two ‘firsts’ coming together to provide an even stronger, technological offering – making a cryptocurrency will available via webcam."
“The fact that the cryptocurrency will is integrated into a document that is overseen by legislation dating back to 1837 is a case of the old meeting the new, which provides an excellent solution for those looking to pass cryptocurrency onto the next generation.”
Coincover now protects more than $280 million of funds, spanning more than 200 different cryptocurrencies in over 15,000 wallets. It has helped retrieve around $350,000 of lost funds since it was established in 2018, by blockchain pioneer David Janczewski and technology security expert Adam Smith.
CEO David Janczewski outlined the necessity of a cryptocurrency will:
“Cryptocurrency is fast and easy to use, but this also means that the primary responsibility for security lies squarely with the individual. If a person’s password gets hacked or if they lose access to their funds, there is little recourse."
“As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream and the value continues to increase, considering how to manage it as part of an estate planning exercise is becoming increasingly important. We look forward to working with ELM Legal to deliver a secure protection solution, all via webcam.”
Jim Emsley says that around 70 per cent of people in the UK still do not have a valid and up-to-date will in place.
He said: “The pandemic has reinforced in people’s minds that we are all here for a limited period of time, and that we need to prepare for the end of life if we want to look after our nearest and dearest. You could say that making a will is something that people should put at the top of their ‘lockdown list.’"
“It’s quite understandable - but astonishing nonetheless - that so many people procrastinate and put off making a will because it’s something they don’t want to confront."
“Writing a will is something that everyone should do, and the current lockdown is the perfect time to do those things that are normally pushed to one side.”
To learn more about Cryptocurrency Wills and the importance of having a plan for your cryptocurrency check out the Coincover Cryptocurrency Will Kit