March is the best time of year. The sun is shining, the masses are heading south for vacation, and the college basketball season is coming to its climax. March Madness is merely a synonym for chaos. Every year, ~The Dance~ is packed with possible Cinderella stories made up of small colleges that have the opportunity to make a name for themselves and knock off the blue bloods we are accustomed to seeing win. The chaos that ensues when watching the likes of a Duke or Kentucky program getting shell-shocked by a Lehigh or a Saint Peter’s brings me an immense amount of joy and entertainment.
Do you know what does not bring me joy? Passwords.
How many times have you gone to sign in to various accounts, and it says “invalid password?” Then the real kicker comes in when you answer the questions to retrieve passwords about your first pet’s name or where you went to middle school to find out you don’t even know yourself anymore. This chaos provides unnecessary stress, and I think this is probably one of the most overlooked/unthought-of parts of estate planning.
Trusts and Wills are always recommended and extremely beneficial for our loved ones when our time is up.
Whether it means avoiding a lengthy and costly probate court or setting you up tax-efficiently to not have to send Uncle Sam any more of your hard-earned money, estate planning documents do a great service for our loved ones. These documents help tone down the chaos and turmoil losing someone can cause. I also implore you to add another to-do list item to alleviate the potential chaos in such a hectic time. Keep a list of your passwords. While keeping track of passwords for yourself is challenging, putting your loved ones on a goose chase could be 10x more difficult. You can do this through an Excel doc, a Word doc, or a handwritten list. Of course, you should also encrypt these lists. One example could be splitting up lists into username and password lists. Regardless of however you set up the list(s), remember two crucial steps:
- DO NOT name the file “Joe’s Passwords.” Come up with a unique file name in case something ever goes missing.
- Make sure your loved ones know about the list, especially what it could be titled and where to find it.
I understand these are not the most pleasant conversations, but let’s keep the chaos on the court and bank on having the soundest game plan when thinking about our family’s future.
May all your brackets be perfect,