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Tales from the Crypt 4: Coinbase Hangs Up on Estate Administrator

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Those inheriting cryptocurrency from Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, are constantly faced with months of delay and inability to access the account of the recently deceased. One Reddit poster (Anon) recently went through a variety of never-ending trials to get ahold of her late father’s cryptocurrency account. Despite being the appointed executor of her father’s estate, Coinbase denied her time and time again without any clear path towards an acceptable resolution.
The poster took to Reddit after having had an active case open with Coinbase for a month. She was consistently given unhelpful customer service updates that were negligent at best. The phrases “Your case has been escalated” and “We are still investigating your case” seem to have lost all meaning today, as customer service representatives fling them around repeatedly without care. Despite being assured she would be contacted within 24 and 48 hours of her complaints, she never heard back from customer service. When she eventually got a hold of a real person, she was “put on hold while he ‘investigated’ and then got hung up on.”
Coinbase support representatives repeatedly stated that the user’s case was under review and escalated, but no progress was ever made. To add fuel to the fire, coinbase refused to privately gather or request information and demanded the user’s case ID number to be given in the public forum. It can be seen in the forum that Coinbase failed to follow-up once again, not even responding to her replies in the public forum.
Despite finally complying and providing the case number, Anon was still left without a resolution. She was finally able to get access to the account, but only after making reports to the Better Business Bureau, a third party that keeps track of reputations of various businesses and provides an incentive for businesses to treat their customers fairly.
Now this was a terrible experience for Anon, but many others like her are currently destined to experience the same in their estate administration and execution. This inevitability is not necessarily Coinbase’s fault, they and many other businesses, are ill prepared for the death of their customers and have no plan in place to handle such occurrences. In fact, the incentives for businesses are such that they actively avoid including estate disbursement functions as it increases the liability to the company! Digital asset estates are so complex that they need to be handled by an expert third-party: in-app features are unrealistic.
Fortunately, with Bequest, users can finally prepare properly and ensure their family and friends can access their accounts well after their passing. We offer the first-ever non-custodial planning solution to protect your estate and remove liability from fiduciaries. Wills, Trusts, and beneficiary designations are all available in one-click, for any crypto wallet..
With the clear incentives at play, everyone should prepare their digital accounts for an actionable administration.
See you next time!

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