For investors considering incorporating cryptocurrency into their estate plans, Web3 may already be an area of interest or curiosity—or apprehension. For others, it may be a concept completely unheard of. In either case, Web3—a decentralized form of data sharing not yet in existence—could be popping up more frequently in estate planning conversations. For now, Web3 is merely speculative, but with the speed of innovation, it’s worth considering how it may impact your estate planning needs now and into the distant future. In the same way the traditional Internet has rapidly evolved, Web3 could be the next big technological advancement to watch.
According to a recent article, Web3 is similar to the Internet we all know and have adopted in that it serves as a way of sharing data and connecting individuals. But different from the traditional Internet, Web3 would run on the blockchain, similar to cryptocurrencies. In the same way crypto assets take the middleman, such as financial intermediaries, out of financial transactions, Web3 could take platforms and companies out of the exchange of data on the World Wide Web, making Web3 truly run by the people. In a time when people are growing distrustful of the large companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook that coordinate and dictate our use and access to the Internet, Web3 could democratize data sharing and take the power—and our data—out of the hands of tech giants.
How Will Web3 Impact Estate Planning?
Because Web3 doesn’t yet exist, it is difficult to say how exactly it will impact or change areas with legal implications, like estate planning. If Web3 enables blockchain-based estate plans, personal smart contracts can be executed without a middleman upon a trigger event, such as death of the estate holder. Without a middleman, these contracts would be executed without going through probate court. Although this may be less costly for both the legal system and an estate and its beneficiaries, a good estate planning attorney with experience in new technologies and cryptocurrency assets will be needed to help structure these contracts and determine their tax implications.