I wrote a little about making sure you put your estate documents where someone could find them in the past. But what about your digital life? If you die, do your heirs know where to find your passwords? There were a couple of good articles in the New York Times about the issue. Here’s how I addressed it in my own estate planning.
Like many people, I have far more passwords than I actually want (over 150 and still increasing,) and most are different due to each site’s or system’s security requirements. At a certain point, it’s impossible to keep track of that many passwords with pencil and paper. That why I got a password management program. I chose to use KeePassX.
KeePassX is a cross-platform* computer program that stores my passwords in an encrypted file. You can open your file and easily search or organize the passwords. It can also make print outs of the files so that you can keep a hard copy with your estate documents. Combine this program with Dropbox so that you have access to your passwords from anywhere, even your mobile devices.
There are several types of password vault programs out there, so do your homework and find one that has security that makes you comfortable and works with your lifestyle.
* Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile.