How it Works: Vault12 Digital Inheritance

Published in
5 min readOct 22, 2020


Vault12 Digital Inheritance is the first solution to offer a simple, direct, and secure way for all types of investors to ensure that all of your digital assets can be accessed by future generations.

  • Traditional approaches to the inheritance of assets, when applied to digital assets, create complexity and risk.
  • Your portfolio of digital assets is continually changing — you cannot rely on doing an inventory once, or for that matter continuously, without assistance.
  • This simple and direct approach reduces the uncertainty around assets not being available to the designated recipient. It also avoids having to approach and petition each service individually during probate to gain access.

The Vault12 platform provides protection, backup resilience, and security to your digital assets. Vault12 Digital Inheritance enables you to designate a beneficiary (an executor, trustee, or other chosen beneficiary) who can inherit the entire portfolio of digital assets that you choose to store in your Vault. There is no need to continually update an inventory or to issue updated instructions.

  • You can use a Vault12 Digital Vault to store Digital assets, including cryptocurrency, financial login information, legal documents, medical records, and more.
  • The Vault is protected by your network of Guardians — friends, family, and/or business associates — people that you know and trust.
  • A beneficiary is designated by the Vault owner from the chosen Guardians, and a declaration is digitally signed. This can then be emailed to other parties, e.g. lawyers.
  • When the Vault Owner’s legally-defined trigger for the inheritance event occurs (incapacitation or passing on), the beneficiary indicates that they are ready to access the digital assets, a designated number of Guardians approve the request, and the assets are unlocked and transferred to the beneficiary.
  • Should the beneficiary attempt to access the assets before they are intended to, the owner can veto the request before any of the Guardians receive an approval request.

Let’s see the process step by step:

I. Configuring Inheritance

Starting Point — Make sure you are using the latest app, that your Vault is already set up, Guardians have been assigned, and assets added. To recap how to do this, watch this video.

  1. As the Vault owner, you need to turn on the Digital Inheritance capability, and assign a beneficiary from your group of Guardians. Depending on what you and your Trust & Estates lawyer have agreed in terms of a Will or a Living Trust, the designated individual could be the Beneficiary or the Executor, or in fact, the Trustee — this is entirely up to you and your lawyer.
  • Click on the setting icon and select “Inheritance,” which will enable you to designate one of your Guardians as the inheritor.

2. Once designated, you will be asked to fill in some details like full legal names, and these will be inserted into a legal declaration that documents the assignment of your digital assets to the designated Guardian at some point in the future.

3. Once you’ve reviewed the declaration and signed it, a copy is sent to the Beneficiary together with an invitation to accept. You may want to call your Beneficiary at this point to discuss your wishes for the future.

II. Activating Inheritance as the beneficiary

  • When the time comes to access the inherited digital assets, the Beneficiary opens the Vault12 app, selects the Vault to be inherited, and activates Inheritance. This will send a safeguard message to the Vault owner — just in case the Beneficiary is actually jumping the gun. The owner has a set period of time — 48 hours — to veto the request.

2. Once the Vault is ready, the Beneficiary is asked to contact the Vault owner’s Guardians.

The Guardians are contacted out of band, e.g., by phone by the Beneficiary, and asked to do a Vault Recovery.
The Vault recovery/asset unlock process is the same process that Guardians may have enacted multiple times for the owner — so nothing new for them to do.

3. Once the minimum number of Guardians have confirmed a Vault Unlock, the assets are transferred to the Beneficiary.

The Inheritance process is complete, and the new Beneficiary will be free to disburse the assets as specified by the Vault owner’s Will or Living Trust.

The Vault12 Digital Inheritance capability is designed to ensure that all digital assets — not just cryptocurrency — that are backed up in the original Vault are passed on to the designated individual in the future.

Vault12 Digital Inheritance is part of the Vault12 app, and is now available in the App Store, Google Play, macOS, and Windows.

Download at

If you are a lawyer or a crypto investor please view our web seminar hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, with
- Philip C. Berg, Otterbourg P. C.
- Jason Lederman, Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
- Wasim Ahmad, Chief Crypto Officer, Vault12




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