Death: Share your computer, passwords, online things!
by Wendy, www.retirement-online.com
I lost my long-time friend, Terri, who does websites like me. RIP Terri, I sure will miss you!
Terri was only 59, married, still has a daughter in high school, son in college, and gone. She was my only local friend who did online business like me... and we loved to explore new possibilities together. We lunched together monthly for many years now.
This article was left on my site last week... I made a video of it as it says exactly the same message as I am writing about! The book is: I'm Dead, Now What? That sounds bad, but the reality without doing something is even worse.
Well, I have learned another life lesson after Terri's death!
Most of us take care of our wills and prepare a bit for death... but nowadays, so much is online that you also need to share passwords and more! Even if it's a simple list somewhere safe, or on the computer, someone has to carry on, right?
Terri shared nothing -- with her husband on household bills, banking, and all the rest. She and I talked for 3 years (since diagnosed) about how her business would be shared... that never happened.
I think it's part DENIAL. If we don't talk about these realities of life, maybe it will all go away. It doesn't.
Her husband is picking up the pieces bit by bit figuring it all out. I am doing the same for her business online.
Let me tell you -- it's not easy! For every site we need to access, we must do the "lost password" procedure, requiring a code on her phone. I finally have access to all her business accounts. But now have to figure out how she ran her business, how to process orders. It's moving along, but could have been so much easier.
Two Thoughts (I'm sure readers have many more!)
1) If you are married, both parties really need to know the status of financials. How bills are paid, where investments are located, why there are multiple banks (which does what) and more. Just talk about it. Share it somewhere. Please don't assume you will outlive your spouse, or you know best how to do it all -- your plans may not work out.
2) Record internet passwords that survivors will need somewhere. We thought Terri had that, but it wasn't updated and didn't work well at all.
This also happened a few years ago to a friend. Her father, retired university professor, was slowing declining mentally. Little did the family know - he was moving his assets to banks everywhere. There was no reason for it. The daughter, as executor of the estate, lived in a different state and had one heck of a mess to deal with. Who knows if she ever found all of his assets?
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