Is anyone working password manager passwords into wills? How do key passwords get passed on to the next generation?
Take a look at The 1Password Emergency Kit.
I would not write-out my my 1P Master Password and put it in my will, since paper copies of my will are on file at my attorney's office. People also often give copies of their will to their executor, if that person is different from their attorney, and their executor's files my not be secure.
I have told my (now adult) children that I use 1P, that it contains all my financial institution passwords, and that my 1P Master Password is in my safe deposit box, along with a list of my savings and all my computer login and admin passwords (these passwords are also in a Secure Note in my 1P vault). You could also put this statement, but not your actual 1P Master Password, in your will, or just keep a copy of this statement with your will.
I also keep portable HDD backups of my computers in my safe deposit box.
I hope the suggestions from Stephen and fourwheelcycle were helpful! It's definitely not a fun thing to have to think about, but it's important to be prepared. If you need anything else, just let us know!
Thanks, everyone, for the helpful suggestions. I appreciate it!
Where I live, it's illegal for anyone to use the login username and password belonging to the decedent (the dead guy). The most important thing is to leave a piece of paper (yes, paper) with the names and phone numbers of the financial institutions that have your money and, for that, a safety deposit box makes sense. The executor visits the bank where the safety deposit box is located and provides a physical copy of the probated will with either a notary or medallion seal, depending on the bank's requirements. If a key is available, the box is opened immediately. If a key is not available, the bank will arrange for the box to be drilled open.
He then calls (one dingy-dingy, two ringy-dingies) each institution to learn the physical address where to mail physical copies of the probated will (again with either a notary or medallion seal, depending on the requirements of the institution).
Each institution responds by locking the decedent's username and password and allows the executor to create his/her own login to access the decedent's financial property.
Jointly-held accounts are a different matter. In my case, EVERYTHING that I and my wife own is joint (except for IRA accounts which, by law, must be individually owned). My wife does not get involved in maintaining the accounts so she does not know any login information. Should I become "the dead guy," she can legally access the accounts but she'll need to go to the safety deposit box to obtain the usernames and passwords.
Thanks @Plato! I definitely agree that if you need to write your master password down on paper, keeping it in a safety deposit box is a really good idea. And although I'm no expert on wills, I imagine that if you need to change your master password at some point, it's easier to update the piece of paper in the box than it is to update your will.
Your first service as an executor is a "baptism by fire." You'll learn things that you never wanted to know about wills and dead people.
Something probably all of us should take the time to learn but of course don't. I suppose for many there seems to be enough to do already while we're living but a bit of thought and preparation can make a big difference later when under a more stressful situation.
English law provides a catch-22 for larger estates.
The executors can't access any financial assets until they have probate.
Probate can't be obtained until inheritance tax is paid.
So where do they get the funds to pay the tax to get probate?
Heh, that is quite the conundrum, danco.