In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey’s venerable bestselling book that took the world by storm in 1989 (over 15 million copies of the book have been sold) the concept of paradigm shift is introduced. This is done to prepare people to change their perspective so as to become a highly effective person, the best person you can be. To me, the best a human being can do is to live right and end well. Sounds simple enough…but the execution of such behavior is nigh impossible without a concerted effort.
This short blog will deal with the latter part of that my stated best for a human, to end well. Specifically, dealing with the ability to have one’s affairs through the access of all personal, legal, and financial data by the surviving loved ones. Covey’s first two principles lead the way in helping you and your loved ones be prepared for the worst.
– Be Proactive
– Begin with the end in mind
We at CSI Onsite want to share a scenario that we have recently encountered that inspired the writing of this post.
Here is what happened. We had a customer who recently suffered the loss of their spouse. Aside from the understandably terrible grief and sadness, the surviving spouse (we will call her Jane) had to also deal with trying to piece together where all the documents dealing with the will, Life Insurance, retirement, pension, and the list continues… Most of the information that was sought resides on the husband’s (we will call him Jack) computer. Here in lies the challenge, Jane has no knowledge of how to get into the computer. No passwords…Nada, nothing, zilch.
As you can imagine, this was a stress inducer. Jane needed to have access to this information to deal with the totality of her husband’s death and his final wishes. I will not tell you what our technicians did to retrieve this data, that’s a different topic best handled by our techs, not a cigar smoking, scotch sippin’ Social Media Director.
Well, I could, but they get so excited to talk Tech with people that I don’t want to rob them of the opportunity.
I will share with you some pointers in how a person can “prepare for worst.”
Since most legal and financial information can and is stored electronically, the computer or a cloud based app are often employed in the storing and accessing of these types of data. Furthermore most of these accounts are identified through the owners email account(s), which constitutes more passwords, more electronically accessed data.
As such your first step is to have a secure, electronically accessible and/or off-line record of all pertinent data. This would include:
– Email accounts
-Banking (Bill Pay, etc)
-All Insurance accounts
-Power of Attorney
-Health Care Directive
-For Computer (And the Computer name itself)
-For each Email accounts
Your Resource Pool
-Friends and Family
Some people call this your “Master File”, a document that exists for worse case scenarios. It isn’t an easy thing to create, but it is a very, very selfless act of love. It goes a long way in helping your surviving loved ones deal with the loss of…well you. And if you truly wish to end well, this will need to be part of your plan.
As you carryout this selfless act, please contact us for details in encryption of all your important and sensitive data.
A few resources to get you started.
- CSI Onsite – 952-928-1788
- Big Book Of Everything – Erik Dewey’s book is now a free PDF. It is a very thorough organizer for all your affairs, with placeholders for you to record your bank accounts, insurance policies, tax records, and more.
- Lifehacker’s Emergency Docs Template