Digital Death: Setting up 1Password as a Digital Will

Posted on by Mike Evans

Since I fired my own imagination with the idea of using 1Password to track digital assets, I’ve done a very quick housekeeping routine on my own data file.

There is probably a lot more to be done and I would welcome a discussion on the best way to turn 1Password into a true Digital Will. This is the rough-and-ready starter which we can all do in a few minutes:

  1. Use something like “digital will” to tag all your bank accounts, credit card accounts and other items such as tax numbers, birth certificates, licences and identity documents. Anything, in fact, that you think an executor would need to know.
  2. Create a Secure Note with an obvious title such as “****READ THIS FIRST ON MY DEATH” and include a step-by-step guide for executors, including instructions on how to authenticate and download Dropbox onto any computer. It’s also a useful place to direct executors to physical assets that they could have difficulty locating. Tag the note.
  3. Create a Smart Group to collect all the “digital will” tags. Give it an obvious but eye-catching title such as DIGITAL WILL so executors can’t miss it.

Out of the hundreds of entries, including logins for just about every site I’ve registered with, I’m left with just 35 crucial items in the Digital Will folder. This will do for now and I’m instantly feeling a little more organised and a tad more at ease. All I need do now is make sure someone I trust has both the Dropbox and 1Password details.

I would be interested to see any additional suggestions from readers. A quick Google search reveals hundreds of commercial organisations prepared to offer a digital Will service at a cost. I’m not sure how these companies function, but I can see problems in constantly having to provide them with updates to passwords. In fact, it’s too much hassle. On the other hand, 1Password is a free (to users) alternative to employing a specialist and is always up to date because you can’t change a password without it being recorded.

Caveat: None of this obviates the need for a properly attested and legally binding Will. It just assists your executors in finding everything and avoids the risk of cash sitting untouchable in locked accounts.

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