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ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Trusts, estate planning and cryptoassets

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ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Trusts, estate planning and cryptoassets

Authors: Woon Shiu Lee and Catherine, Kuan Swan Cheung

Asian Business Law Institute and Singapore Academy of Law

August 2023

Please contact for queries relating to this publication.  

Despite the inherent volatility of cryptoassets and the cryptoasset market, investment in such assets, or at least interest in investing in such assets, is likely to keep growing. So is the interest in holding cryptoassets as a new asset class under trusts or including such assets in estate planning for purposes such as portfolio diversification.


This Guide seeks to provide practical guidance to readers who are examining the interplay, including the potentials and pitfalls, between trusts, estate planning and cryptoassets in general terms in the common law world.

Table of Contents

Cryptoassets and trusts

Understanding trusts

Concept of legal and equitable interest

What is a trust?

Creating a trust

Types of trusts

Reasons to establish a trust

What assets can be held under a trust? 

Understanding trusts and cryptoassets 


Investments in cryptoassets

Benefits of holding cryptoassets under a trust

Understanding the problems with holding cryptoassets under a trust

Legal issues

Regulatory and compliance issues

Tax issues

Technical and practical issues 


Primary sources

Secondary sources

Cryptoassets and estate planning 


Understanding the problems with estate planning involving cryptoassets

Difficulty of discovery and absence of a paper trail

Technical skills required for proper handling

Data security and lack of privacy

Risk of misplacing or losing private keys

Difficulty in selecting an executor or trustee

Fiscal implications and tax exposure

This publication is produced under ABLI's cryptoasset in Asia project with Dr Jason Allen as the Project Lead.

You will get a PDF (2MB) file

ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Cryptoassets and Property Law (Singapore edition)


ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Cryptoassets and Civil Procedure Law (Singapore edition)