Thursday, July 30, 2009

Organized Enough to be Gone

I recently took a class on helping heirs of the chronically disorganized, and they brought up a great point that I had never really considered, the concept of e-property. For example, my e-property would consist of my website, domain name, blog, photos, and social network pages. I began to think that I needed to make my husband aware of passwords so he would be able to handle dismantling these things as my executor. Should I make a list and seal it in an envelop with my Power of Attorney and Living Will?
I have worked with several widows in the last few years whose husbands had passed away very unexpectedly. We have sifted through boxes and files to find documents, keys, and even important accounts. Now many people have gone paperless for their statements on billing, banking and investments- how would we ever find those accounts? One husband had over-saved and we had to sift through mountains of redundant paper. It would have been ideal to have everything spelled out and accounts in a file in a filing cabinet clearly labeled.
Everyone has a different level of comfort with privacy and security. Some people shred every address label as though they are in the witness protection program and others have to rescue their birth certificate from the Target bag with coupons, and leftover party napkins. (I cannot make this stuff up-it really happens.) People are and should be protective of passwords. But how can we help those who come behind us? It's a new frontier. What will you do about your e-accounts? Are you organized enough to be gone?