Bitcoin Inheritance Update
Just in time for Father’s Day, we’re thrilled to announce our first major update to Casa Covenant, our Bitcoin inheritance solution:
We’re now offering a new, streamlined approach that ensures your bitcoin can be easily and securely recovered by the people you trust the most, even if you're not around to help.
First announced in 2019 and officially launched in 2020, Casa Covenant is Bitcoin’s first comprehensive inheritance solution. Casa’s team designed Covenant alongside the co-creator of Glacier Protocol, and together we spent over a year on threat modeling, R&D, and user testing. Over the past 18 months, we've worked closely with our Diamond clients to set up their inheritance plans and ensure that, when the time comes, their bitcoin can be safely recovered by their loved ones.
How Casa Covenant Works
Bitcoin inheritance can seem like a daunting task, especially when you retain full control over your wealth. Casa Covenant resolves the two key threats to inheritance--loss and theft--and offers your family and loved ones full control over their financial future. Here’s how it works:
With Casa Diamond, your coins are protected by five keys--you control four, and three are needed to move funds. When the time comes, your heirs will need to access three keys, and proper safeguards must be in place to ensure that these keys never fall into the wrong hands.
To date, Casa Covenant has accomplished this with a Multiparty approach:
- One key is delegated to your estate attorney (often, clients add an optional sixth key to their Key Shield and delegate this to their attorney)
- A second key, typically held in a safe deposit box, is made available to a beneficiary or executor upon your death
- The third key, the Casa Recovery Key, is managed by Casa
You can read more about how this works here.
The Multiparty approach depends on a client’s attorney acting as a keyholder and orchestrator of the proceedings. Working with an attorney provides protection against inheritance disputes, which are an all too common issue in estate planning. This approach also ensures that throughout the inheritance process, no single party ever has unilateral control over your assets.
While this works well for many Diamond clients, we’ve also found that some clients feel comfortable with a single beneficiary taking responsibility for the funds, and/or prefer not to expand their circle of trust to include their attorney or other third parties. Now, after 18 months of working closely with our Diamond clients, we’ve developed a way to simplify the process and create an experience that matches the needs of busy professionals, young families, and trusted partners alike.
Just in time for Father’s Day, we’re excited to announce a new option for implementing Casa Covenant. Our new approach uses a Beneficiary Agreement to designate a single person who will take over your bitcoin. The setup is simple, straightforward, and doesn’t need to involve anyone outside of your family in your Bitcoin management.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide on your beneficiary - Decide with your family on a beneficiary who will get access to your account should anything happen to you. In most cases, this will be your spouse or a close family member. You’ll then sign a standard Beneficiary Agreement with Casa naming your beneficiary and formalizing our arrangement that, in the event of your death, Casa will transition the account to your beneficiary and help them safely recover your funds.
- Ensure your beneficiary has access to two keys - Casa Client Services will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up Casa Covenant and ensuring your beneficiary has reliable, durable access to 2 keys in your 3-of-5 wallet. We’ll provide 1-on-1 support, an easy setup guide, and all the materials you need to implement your plan.
- Account recovery - When the time comes, your beneficiary can reach out to Casa via a special contact card and set of instructions we’ll provide. After verifying proof of death, we’ll help your beneficiary every step of the way to assume control of the account. By combining their two keys with the Casa Recovery Key, they’ll be able to reach the three-key quorum necessary to safely recover the bitcoins. Casa will also add an additional, complementary year of membership for your beneficiary.
Relative to the Multiparty approach, this Single Beneficiary option has some key benefits:
- You can get inheritance protection quickly - Onboarding your attorney into your setup and creating legal structures can be time intensive. By contrast, the Single Beneficiary option can be set up in as little as a few weeks.
- You can maintain a tight circle of trust - No one outside of your family will need to be involved as a keyholder.
It also has two tradeoffs relative to the Multiparty approach:
- Your beneficiary assumes full control of your funds - While we’ve found that many clients unconditionally trust their spouse to take control of their funds, this isn’t always the case.
- It’s designed for simple inheritance plans - If you have many beneficiaries or expect your inheritance proceedings to be contentious, the Multiparty option may be a better fit.
As a Diamond customer, you’re free to choose the plan which best fits your family, your estate, and your needs. These approaches are not mutually exclusive - for most clients, we recommend starting with the Single Beneficiary path, before considering whether it’s appropriate to involve an attorney in a more complex approach.
Ready to get started?
Are you a Casa Diamond client ready to get set up with Casa Covenant, or looking to update your approach? Just let your Client Advisor know you’re interested in learning more about the Single Beneficiary option, and we’ll add you to the top of our list. We’re already onboarding our initial cohort, and our goal is to get all current clients who are interested set up by the end of the summer.
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At which tiers is this service available?
Casa Covenant is available to all Casa Diamond members.
Is there any additional cost?
None whatsoever. Everything is included in the Casa Diamond package.
Can I use this pseudonymously?
Some additional information (full name, etc.) is required for Casa to safely and reliably verify the identity of your beneficiary and also to verify proof of death. To date, we have not found a fully anonymous or pseudonymous mechanism for inheritance that meets our standards for reliability.
Should I still work with an attorney to set up an estate plan?
Absolutely. The Single Beneficiary option is essentially a Transfer on Death (TOD) designation that generally applies to retirement and brokerage accounts, enabling your beneficiary to access your assets without needing to go through probate. It’s no substitute for a full estate plan and we recommend speaking with your attorney regarding tax and other considerations.
Is the Single Beneficiary option available in all locations?
The Single Beneficiary option is currently only available to clients based in the United States. We’ll be rolling out international support later this year.