Security Corner

Jul 8 2012   11:40PM GMT

Paper is still king for passing on your estate’s online assets

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

These two articles became the subject of a lot of thought and discussion on how to best pass on your electronic assets when you pass away:

How will you pass on your passwords when you pass away? Part 1
How will you pass on your passwords when you pass away? Part 2

In the process of figuring out my own system, I became aware of the existence of  “electronic will” sites that will supposedly allow your loved ones to get your passwords and other online account information in the event of your demise. I advise against using such sites for two reasons:

  1. If the site disappears (despite what promises are made as to their plan for succession) and you die before you can find a replacement site, your loved ones are out of luck; and,
  2. If you fail to keep the site updated with changes, it’s useless.

This is why I say “paper is king.” You need to come up with a system that is relatively fail safe and that system needs to be committed to paper and placed in a safe deposit box or held by your attorney or other trusted person.

By “fail safe,” I mean a system that will allow your survivors to gain access to all of your important online assets even if you do not faithfully apply it. Yes, it has to be set up in such a way that someone could easily discover where your lapse occurred and recover your credentials. This isn’t the least bit difficult to do; in fact, it’s rather simple and I’ll present a full system in a future post.

1  Comment on this Post

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  • univacnewbie
    I am very interested to read your next post...  I would love to have a simple approach to this confusing problem.
    40 pointsBadges:

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