In Case Of Emergency In A Technical World

Social media and technology are changing the way that we plan for our eventual death. We use to only be concerned about where the will is kept or where the information for the bank accounts are kept. Gone are the days where the majority of us keep our papers in a safety deposit box and all we need to do is worry that the key is given to the right person. Now it is much more complex and if you are not savvy you could easily become frustrated.


I read a very interesting article about managing your social media accounts when you are dead. It is something I had not thought about before last week. I consider myself young and I see death as a far off event. Yes I have had some tragedies happen where some of my friends have died unexpectedly. And every once in awhile I am reminded of this as a post will creep in when someone writes on their wall, or it is their birthday.


Did you know that you can set up your Facebook account to be deleted or memorialized if you pass away? I like the idea of having a memorialized account. Having such an account puts the word “Remembering” by your name in your profile. Your content stays and is shared to the same audience it was intended for. It does not show up in birthday reminders or People You May Know section. I like this option.


You can also choose to have your account deleted upon your death. There are steps to put this into place now before your death. Check with Facebook on how to do this.


Another option is to have a legacy contact. That is someone that you put in charge of your account upon your passing. They are allowed to write a pinned post, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. They cannot log into your account and remove posts or remove friends or read your private messages you sent. I followed the steps on Facebook to do this and it took me one minute.


What about your smart phone that is password protected? I have an iPhone 6 that opens with a password or my fingerprint. This is the only way my phone can be opened. I don’t try to hide it so all of my kids and husband know what it is. For heavens sake even the guy sitting next me on my flight knows what it is. But truth be told, I don’t know what my husbands is. Although there is not any information I would need from his phone. He will need my phone more than I will need his phone. But consider sharing your phone password with someone.


Another area of concern is all those darned passwords that we have. Yes there are apps that can remember your passwords for you. I easily have 50 accounts with passwords. We have them all written down on an excel document that is printed. Does it need to be updated? It sure does.  My husband has this amazing ability to remember numbers and passwords. It is his party trick, but he is starting to forget. Passwords now mock you with their “strength” detection. So you try harder and harder to insert numbers and symbols all while losing your mind in the memorization. I for one am going back to the old school method of paper and pen and working on updating the passwords.


It is funny when we think about all the new things that we have to worry about in case of an emergency, it becomes overwhelming! When my kids were little all I worried about was having a will and life insurance. Now I need to add to the list the social media accounts and passwords.


So this week let’s keep it simple! Go and buy yourself a fire proof water proof safe and start putting all your important papers in it.  Get the kind that is a file box so that you can file the papers in it. Get some hanging file folders and label. Make sure that all titles and passwords are kept here. Make sure that your family knows where all these papers are. Don’t have them everywhere around the house. Have one central location and keep all of the papers there. You do not need every account statement from the last year. Usually the account and any passwords is enough to get your family started. Not sure what you need for each account? Ask your banker or investment person or your insurance agent. One call will help you get it figured out. Give the gift of organization that will keep on giving even when you can not be there.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!