in the event of my death, my password is…

This is going to get a bit morbid, you’re warned.

So, as part of the advice we’re given of Things To Do Before You Leave The Country, we’ve been told it might be good to have a current will set up before leaving for Italy. At first, I was a little amused by this — I don’t really own anything of huge value, I have more debt than savings, etc. — and the idea of breaking things up bit by bit is pretty apalling. Yet there’s at least one possession of mine that I have a significant interest in the whereabouts of at all times – even posthumously – and that’s my computer. There’s a brief mention of this on Slashdot today, centering around the fact that it can be difficult for others to access information that’s passworded if the passwords aren’t left behind (there’s also an extended discussion/explanation of the fact that a normal fire safe will not protect a CD from melting in a fire).

Having put a little thought into this, I’ve thought about leaving my different passwords and accounts in a neat list for one or two particular and trusted people to take care of immediate problems, but I think there are files – documents – on the computer that I’d actually like to put in a sort of trust, not to be released until a certain time after my death. I call this the Presidential Papers theory. I’m just not sure how it would/could be executed. Mostly, I like the idea of anything Presidential attending my will.

The Slashdot discussion has many morbidly interesting bits to it, including a link to, a service where you can pay to have a “final e-mail” sent to friends, family, etc. in the event of your death. The amusing part of this is that they’re advertising a free thirty day trial.

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16 Responses to in the event of my death, my password is…

  1. ellenneithernor says:

    I wrote a will before I went to Russia. Nobody told me to do it; I was just kind of a morbid teenager who thought seven weeks in a foreign country might very well kill me. It didn’t, of course, but I get a little creeped out every time I see the will floating around, especially since I willed all my writings (journals, etc.) to my then-best friend, who would probably find all of it horribly TMI now.

  2. phillyexpat says:

    You know, this post reminded me of how much pressure there is on me to have kids, being I’m an only child. Who else am I going to leave all my crap to?

  3. therealjae says:

    Wow, I was just thinking about something quite similar to this, regarding livejournal. I realized that I would want my filtered entries not to be shown to anyone who can’t currently see them, and my private entries to remain private. I didn’t think I cared about what happened with my stuff after my death, but livejournal seems to be the one exception.


  4. casapazzo says:

    Your hamster, Fred. Or someone you think desperately needs a music-education crash course 🙂

  5. phillyexpat says:

    If I have a hamster, I’m not aware of him.

    However, I am aware of many people who could benefit from a little angst-rock.

    Guess who just got named executor?

  6. casapazzo says:

    Oh dear.

    ::eyes you warily::

  7. phillyexpat says:

    To whom else would I trust the smiting of the pop culturally challenged?

  8. casapazzo says:

    hee. Oh, well you didn’t tell me there’d be smiting involved!

    smite, smite, smite.

    ::springs music collection on Carmen::

  9. kepkanation says:

    Wait, there’s smiting? How can I get involved? I’ve always wanted to smite.

  10. kepkanation says:

    There are apparently services out there you can pay to eliminate certain programs, files, etc. in the event of your death (or, alternately, in the event that you don’t login over a certain amount of time). Or, alternately, the /. people discussed just assigning a lawyer to delete everything/retain everything as directed, so that there’s a legal impetus upon someone to carry out that wish.

  11. casapazzo says:

    You can be in charge of smiting the bad journalists, stupid politicans, and stick-models.

    smite smite smite!!

    ::throws lightning::

  12. phillyexpat says:

    As my “executor” notes, I find you worthy of helping with the smiting.

  13. kepkanation says:

    Sweeeeet. Can there be some kind of smiting hat, or perhaps a pointy, slightly papal-looking stick that I can carry?

  14. starstraf says:

    I have an envelope in my safety deposit box that has “Passwords and Accounts” written on the outside, and that has a list of my credit cards, my online accounts and the passwords for them.

  15. phillyexpat says:

    We are big fans of hats and sticks, so yes.

  16. simplelyric says:

    For some time, there has been a file on my laptop computer directing you as to what should be done with its contents. I hope that’s okay.

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