Getting Your Affairs in Order

20130118-210233.jpgYou know you should do it.  It sits in the back of your mind, on your TO DO list.  But you never get around to doing it.  What am I talking about?  Getting your affairs in order.  There has been a New York Times article making its mark on Facebook and Twitter entitled: A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others.  In this article, it reads all my worst fears.  What if I were to die tomorrow, What would happen to my children?  How will anyone know where to find my things?  How will they know what I want?  Reading Ms Hernando’s story struck me to the core.  You’d think all these fears would send me racing to get my affairs in order.  I’ve made steps towards it but never finishing what I started.  I started collecting my passwords in one place.  I signed up for a legal plan, despite thinking I will never really need one, but I could use it to at least finalize my husband and our wills.  It’s been two years since I started those two tasks.

With my recent medically prescribed full bed rest, I decided it was time to tackle my life.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  Even if you know you should do it, its a tough conversation to have.  Every time I try to engage my husband into a conversation, we always find something “more” important… like we need shampoo.

I have to say after Hurricane Sandy, I was definitely getting that nagging feeling that I should start getting things in order.  I lived through 9/11 and knew these situations were only the signs of things to come.  I got into a little panic thinking about finding my family and how to survive with gas rationing.  I was very proud of myself for gathering all of our important documents, scanning them into a password locked PDF file, and placing them into one secure location.  Yes, my important documents were all over before.  I counted 5 different places and a few that I didn’t even know was missing, like my birth certificate!  I ordered a copy online right away, scanned it when it arrived and married it to the other important documents, double Ziploc bagged in case of flooding.  Yes, I have to say, that was definitely a start.

20130118-210250.jpgThe other part was organizing my electronic life.  I’d taken careful steps to ensuring backup of my computer, in not one place but two places.  I backed up to a portable drive and remotely. You’d think someone who took such care of her computer would take care of her life as well.  Alas, it was a wake up call.  I thought about my online life and the hundreds of accounts I probably have on the WWW.  My husband’s head would spin trying to guess all my passwords and what accounts I had.  How was I going to organize and capture all of this information?  Amy Oztan of Selfish Mom introduced me to a wonderful product called LastPass.  While I do have quite a bit of time on my hands, I don’t know that I could remember all the accounts I have.  What I liked right off the bat about LastPass is its integration with your web browser.  As simple as visiting your site, it will prompt you and ask if you’d like LastPass to remember the account.  I have been selecting yes to everything.  Taking it one step further, it allows you to categorize your life into Groups.  My Groups are Personal, Blog and Family.  The flexibility to create and organize your accounts is simply amazing, not to mention the pleasant interface.  If you’re super paranoid like me, or just like tech gadgets, I am totally digging the integration with Yubikey.  I couldn’t help but buy 2 keys with a LastPass Premium account.  Until that arrives though I am securing my information with one additional step, Sesame.  This nifty little program installs on a USB drive and doesn’t let anyone access your LastPass account unless they have the USB and your password.  Yubikey is just another gadget that uses your fingerprint too.

My next step will be to finalize our family will, because nothing is more important than making your wishes known and helping your family grieve in their own way without suffering in the wake of the mess you’ve left them.  If you’re left feeling like you’ve got to get your affairs in order, check out Ms. Hernando’s site  Its full of great tips and checklists to get you started!

{disclaimer : This is NOT a sponsored post.  All products mentioned above are from my own research, recommendations of friends, and self-purchased. }