Long time lurker, first time poster.
I’m (twitter - @gcosteloe) a lawyer in Vancouver, Canada with a practice focused on trust, estate, and tax planning. I’m also a LEETH Certified contributor to LexDAO, minor contributor to KaliDAO, (quiet) LexPunK member, and (small) user of yVaults. I’ve also proud to have become a crappy solidity dev so that I can work directly with dev teams with my DAO clients.
IMO one of the major missing features of the entire DeFi ecosytem is a form of decentralized, trustless, succession planning - allowing holders to ensure their accumulated wealth is passed on to family or charities. It’s been my side project to figure out how to get this done in a way that protects and empowers the ethics of the crypto/DeFi community.
I have put a lot of thought into how to build fully on-chain wills. For a variety of reasons, this is a very hard problem. Just getting the provable but anonymous confirmation of death on chain is a nightmare at present (but potentially solvable in the future).
However, there is an intermediary option that accomplishes many of the same objectives as a will but has far fewer hurdles - the common law trust.
At their core, trusts would allow users to plan and direct the capital and yield of a yVault position.
There are 4 obvious uses for this sort of feature:
Distribute earned yield between chosen beneficiary addresses;
Distribute underlying vault capital between chosen beneficiary addresses;
Earn yield in the hands of a beneficiary who can claim that income at a lower marginal tax rate; and
Give to charitable causes without losing capital by contributing yield only, automatically.
Why is this a perfect fit for Yearn? No one wants their assets sitting and not earning yield. If I want to pass my ETH onto my kids when I die, but I don’t know when that will happen, it feels uneconomical to sit on a naked ETH position because I don’t want to die if assets are in a crazy degen position. Doing ‘inheritance’ through the transfer of private keys in meat space poses both security and legal concerns.
Building a yTrusts feature out would make Yearn the go to place in DeFi for those looking to complete succession planning or tax minimization strategies.
I am interested in putting forward a proposal to obtain some funding to build this feature out. Before I do, I want to see if such a feature/product would be of interest to the community. I have already started to build out a team who I believe can accomplish this and we are trying to determine the best path to fund and scale it. Building alongside the community is certainly preferred to going to a VC.
Please let me know questions or feedback. Ideally, I can find a champion or two in the Yearn community who can point me in the right direction when it comes to writing the proposal.