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June 03, 2011, 09:23:09 PM
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June 03, 2011, 09:33:20 PM
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I think storing in the safety deposit box at your bank and putting the information in your will, is the best of the alternatives you suggested.

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June 03, 2011, 09:36:00 PM
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why do you trust the owners of a safe-deposit box more than a lawyer?

in any event, none of this is really a concern in practice. if you want a technical solution to the problem, however, it could be achieved with scripting in the block chain itself; you'd simply create conditional transactions to your heirs and cancel them before nLockTime, repeatedly and even in automated fashion.
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June 03, 2011, 09:42:45 PM
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Physical safety of the contents of your box. Negligible risk. Right now I would prefer to deposit the unencrypted wallet. If bitcoin-storage/inheritance were a major business in itself (and therefore the contents predictable), I might err on the side of caution and only store the password (spreading around the encrypted wallet among my heirs at the same time), just in case of a true bank-robbery (when was the last time a bank vault was actually emptied?, just out of interest).


There was a big robbery in March 2008.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200465/

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June 03, 2011, 09:45:08 PM
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theymos
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June 03, 2011, 09:50:14 PM
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I suppose you would need to fork from the bitcoin-network to do that, right?

No. It's already in the protocol.

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June 03, 2011, 09:50:33 PM
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Give half the encryption password to your lawyer, give the other half to your most trusted relative.  Problem solved.  Or split it into fourths, and email yourself one fourth, and send one fourth in a self-addressed stamped envelope, along with the other two.
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June 03, 2011, 09:53:47 PM
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Astro
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June 03, 2011, 09:55:49 PM
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My bitcoins die with me!
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June 03, 2011, 10:00:48 PM
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Dude65535
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June 03, 2011, 10:08:05 PM
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One solution would be to create a second encrypted copy of your wallet with a different password from your day to day use one and give out that password to trusted relatives. You then keep that second copy in a safe in your home so you can update the files as necessary.

If your safe is broken into and your bitcoins are stolen you can be fairly certain that it was one of the people you gave the password to and not a virus or key logger that got you.

If you want to be able to know exactly who stole them you could even create a separate encrypted copy with different passwords for each person with each one missing one private key with a very small amount of bitcoins available to it. If you find your self missing all your bitcoins except one of those addresses you would know who to go talk to.

As for stealing fund between your death and inheritance being given out and transactions between your death and the distribution of inheritance should be fairly easy to spot unless they are careful about pruning keys from the wallet.dat file.

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June 03, 2011, 10:12:08 PM
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I don't understand how this problem can't be countered with a simple will. Unless you're implying people are stupid enough to have several thousands of dollars worth of wealth not plan to pass it to someone. The problem isn't technical, simply PEBCAK.

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theymos
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June 03, 2011, 10:13:17 PM
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Can I spend the bitcoins myself while they are in limbo to my heir? (if not, its useless)

You can take money out of a pending transaction without having to sign an entire new transaction (using the alternate SIGHASH modes), but you need to share some new data with your heir if you ever want to add more funds to the transaction.

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Where is it documented and is there a client that can already do so?

It's in the code. There's no GUI for it yet.

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Are there safety issues?

You need to make sure you invalidate the transaction before it becomes locked.

nLockTime is enforced by the network, so there's no way to bypass it.

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June 03, 2011, 10:16:13 PM
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SgtSpike
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June 03, 2011, 10:17:05 PM
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I don't understand how this problem can't be countered with a simple will. Unless you're implying people are stupid enough to have several thousands of dollars worth of wealth not plan to pass it to someone. The problem isn't technical, simply PEBCAK.
A piece of paper with the password to thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars?  Sounds like a big risk to take, unless you are 100% trusting of whoever holds the will.

Of course, any decent lawyer isn't going to risk his livelihood for anything under 6 figures, but when you get higher up there in net worth (which could happen unexpectedly if we continue to have such extreme rallies on value), the incentive to steal becomes that much greater.  And many lawyers are sleezeballs to start with, so I wouldn't put it past one of them to steal from someone's will with a written password...
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June 03, 2011, 10:18:12 PM
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June 03, 2011, 10:19:18 PM
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June 03, 2011, 11:57:30 PM
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There is indeed "inheritance problem" and there are many solutions. You can mix and match solutions to best suit your needs. Now let's see what lego pieces we have here:

1. wallet.dat + the the rest of software i.e. bitcoin client, OS, encryption/description software plus expalnation notes/documentation + storage
2. "dead man" switch


1. wallet.dat + the the rest of software i.e. bitcoin client, OS, encryption/description software plus expalnation notes/documentation


Do not just pass wallet.dat, make sure that there is a complete suite of software and documentation is passed along it, preferably including bitcoin software and OS in a self contained and self sufficient package. Bootable USB stick sounds as a good idea. Note that lifetime of such sticks is limited 5-10 years maybe. Burn also image of such USB to a CD-R and/or DVD-R. On a plus side this allows one to use a linux distro which includes encrypted partitions. This gives a decently secure and reliable way to pass wallet.dat. Ultimately, one can get low cost netbook,  put everything there and store it securely. Than all you have to do is to pass access to such netbook along with the password and instructions/docs. There are many ways to do this step, chose what you think is the best for your circumstances.

See how we have simplified the problem now. Many copies of such netbook/USB/DVD-R encrypted are distributed using variety of methods the only problem left is to give your heirs a password message securely after the event. Here comes "dead man" switch

2. "dead man" switch

There are a few options. Check out https://www.deathswitch.com/ . Wills, lawyers, separate safe deposit boxes etc... You even could tell your child "I love you my sunny pumpkin" every evening when they go to bed and than say in "will" remember 6 words I told you every time you go to bed... this plus '34534dfgdskjhagdsgvsdfk3p98ulkjKhsdkfvskdfhblsdhbf' is the pass phrase, no spaces. Mix and match

Conclusion

Once we have separated the problem into 2 parts "encrypted data" and password, things get easier. Mix and match as you see fit. Keep things encrypted and documented. Keep password separate. Make sure your heirs get access to all pieces of the puzzle after you dead. Make sure nobody gets access to all pieces before the event.

Also consider inheritance taxes and how you want to get around those if at all. There are plenty if instruments like trusts etc... and if it done right it's a good thing. Considering that a few bitcoins might buy a mansion some day it probably worth taking professional advise on this matter.








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goatpig
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June 04, 2011, 12:18:23 AM
 #19

I don't understand how this problem can't be countered with a simple will. Unless you're implying people are stupid enough to have several thousands of dollars worth of wealth not plan to pass it to someone. The problem isn't technical, simply PEBCAK.
A piece of paper with the password to thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars?  Sounds like a big risk to take, unless you are 100% trusting of whoever holds the will.

Of course, any decent lawyer isn't going to risk his livelihood for anything under 6 figures, but when you get higher up there in net worth (which could happen unexpectedly if we continue to have such extreme rallies on value), the incentive to steal becomes that much greater.  And many lawyers are sleezeballs to start with, so I wouldn't put it past one of them to steal from someone's will with a written password...

This is a case of someone trying to run a proper business vs a one day lotto profit.

You did read the post, right?

How are they to access your encrypted wallet? Huh Or dont you encrypt the wallet?  Shocked
How can you easily pass them the key without risk?

Yes. Everything is within the will. What is to stop the legalities that surround wills to not be applied to a will holding BTC? You enter a contract with a third party to execute your will upon your death. The contract contains all the information necessary for the will to be processed + the value passed upon by that will, that the third party will naturally verify and publicize in the will, a copy of the public information that you and your heir will hold. If the third party screws you over, he is not only facing trial from your heir, but also losing all of his customers. From his stand point, he's better off offering proper business, same as it is done nowadays with any other form of wealth.

This is as if you consider BTC residing into some different dimension upon which common practice on wealth nowadays can't be reproduced. I'm kinda startled here.

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June 04, 2011, 12:44:12 AM
 #20

Isn't it straight forward?
Have a binder with your will and documentation. In the will you establish someone to be the executor of the estate and to fulfill your wishes. Keep your Bitcoin information along with the account numbers and investment information you have in there and seal it so it will be obvious if it has been opened. That way when (not if) you change your will it will all be there on that shelf and in your lawyers office for verification of accuracy.
Yes sometimes the executor does not do things correctly, but then at least there is legal recourse. If you simply hand out your password for in the event of your death and never do proper estate planning, then it doesn't matter how much digital gold you leave your descendants as they will soon hate each other. Fighting over it.

Don't forget to update instructions on how to convert it to cash as some people may prefer hard cash especially if you die within the next $10 years. The messages of people asking how to get in will be nothing compared to people asking how to get out.

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