Writing A Technical "will"

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VHG | 15:54 Thu 18th Feb 2016 | Technology
15 Answers
Anyone written a technical "will" ?

I am 66 years old and worked in computers all my working life.

While now retired I still love technology so we have 3 desktops PCs in the house (plus a couple of spare PCs) for me, my wife and son, plus a laptop, 2 tablets, and 3 smartphones on contract.

We also have a wi fi printer, Sky TV, a few cameras and so on. Plus I have a number of backup external hard drives for our photos, music, and personal files etc.

We also have many email addresses between us, but my family don't even know my email passwords (let alone many of the email addresses).

Like most people I have money in various different banks, and I also do online banking.

My wife and son are not particularly technical (my 25 year old son has a disability) and if anything goes wrong with the technology I hear a shout and have to go and sort it out.

It occurred to me the other day that if I dropped dead tomorrow my family would have no idea how to sort out all this technology, they don't even know the password for the computer in my office.

So I decided to write a technical "will"

In this "will" I can write down as much information as I can about all this technology, what computers we have, where they are, how to log on to them, how to logon to the router, what email address I have, how to logon to them, what backups I have and how to find them and so on.

Of course it is only when you start to write these things down you realise how much technology information is in your head, and how much you have to put down on paper because with you gone they wont have anyone to ask.

I plan to do this alongside a "financial" will as I don't think they have any idea what bank accounts I have, or ISAs or savings accounts.

It may sound a bit gloomy, thinking about your own death, but it seems to me that we all have access to so much technology nowadays it would help our families if we all did a technical will.

Anyone else done one or thinking of doing one?


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I realise this was a problem a few days ago with the Apple iPhone row when they would not unlock an iPhone for the FBI.

One lady said her husband died and he had an Apple laptop. After his death she wanted to logon to it but did not know the logon details but when she contacted Apple they would not help her, even though she sent them his death certificate and even his will.

We could all have a similar problem if our partner dropped dead.
Having finally got round to making a Will three years ago, I was then worried about many of the features you outline.

When I get round to it (don't hold your breath), I intend to produce a similar dossier to that which you mention, outlining where to find, and how to access, all my assets. I have already started on an outline, but it's still far from complete.
I have done something similar.
I have printed off one sheet of A4 with the password for my pcs, tablets and smartphone; the masterpassword for my LastPass account; the account details for banks, savings and investments.
It's a good idea. I have so many different online accounts I decided to document them all for my family so they would find it easier to sort things out. There must be many cases where bank accounts go unnoticed after death because there are no paper statements. I haven't gone as far as listing passwords but I must do it. I have so many I am sure I will forget some myself one day. In fact I have one account that I go into every day which asks for a 10 digit code and i type it without thinking- but one day I was using a different laptop in a different place and I completely forgot the whole thing just when i needed to do an urgent transaction
We have several computers in the house with one master computer. That contains 4 internal disks which hold the master copies of all our data. The data is backed up weekly to internal and external disks, one of which is kept in a firesafe. I have a chart on the wall showing what information is held on each disk and where all the backups are. The master computer has a file giving hints to all passwords as well as a list of all bank accounts with associated account numbers etc. I like to think that if I suddenly popped my clogs life, at least from a technology point of view, would carry on normally without me.
Gosh, some of you are so ORGANISED. I'm now more motivated to complete my task :-)
already done it VGH all in a big red folder for my next of kin to find along with passport driving licence etc
always have been a practical guy .lol
My late husband did both of these. Its not a will because you aren’t leaving stuff to named people. Essentially its not different from recording financial access details before tech was the way things were done....paper records were kept, eg share certificates and bank passbooks, and the keys to the safe or desk were labeled along with the code for opening the safe.
There are password management systems, which I assume would mean we just leave one password for our family to access the lot. Does anyone use anything like that?
I've used password managers in the past. Tend to use a password protected spreadsheet these days.
Maydup, I use LastPass, which suits me very well because it works on all my pcs, tablets, smarphone etc.
Thanks hc i'll look it up.
We have listed all our accounts and passwords etc and put them in a sealed envelope. All mine in an envelope with OH name on and vice versa. Placed in Safe Keeping Box in the Bank. So if one becomes incapacitated or dies the other can get to it. In the mean time we are slowly transferring every thing into joint names whilst retaining control of our own assets to simplify things in future.
Oooo in the bank ubasses, do you have to go in and update it each time you forget and reset your passwords? At the moment I have mine on a piece of paper in the draw written in code to remind myself when I forget them, but they'd be no use to anyone else if they needed to get in to my accounts, which is why I too am interested in these answers.
Well, as we have only done all the major things we are unlikely to forget, but if that did happen, yes we would have to do a new sheet. We access our box annually at our review so would keep it until then. Hopefully soon everything will be in joint names so we will have our own access to all accounts.
My biggest concern is I am POA for my Mum so have listed those as well so OH could at least pay her Care Bills until things could get sorted.

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