Probate and the Problem with Cryptocurrency

At the age of 21 Matthew Mellon, a member of the famous family of bankers, inherited $25 million through a trust that was created for him. Illustrating the dangers of giving that much money to someone so young, Mellon was not cautious with the money and developed a costly habit.

He recently passed away on the way to rehab, at the age of 54. If that was the entire story Mellon would be a good cautionary tale about why it is important to carefully structure large inheritances.  However, there is more to the story as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in “Matthew Mellon’s Cryptocurrency is Being Held in Probate.”

At some point, Mellon became heavily invested in cryptocurrency, which eventually made him a billionaire. At the time of his passing, his cryptocurrency holdings are believed to be worth around $100 million. However, the problem is that cryptocurrency can be extremely volatile.

Since his passing, Mellon’s holdings have already fluctuated more than 30% in value. To get the holdings, however, his estate first has to go through probate.  This would ordinarily take a long time in this case. The estate is seeking permission to sell the cryptocurrency now, in case the value of the holdings crashes.

Mellon presents another cautionary tale as well. If you have a lot of cryptocurrencies, you should make estate plans that do not require cryptocurrency to go through probate.

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce