Generally life is uneventful and routine until it is not. As long as you are fit and healthy, you are not thinking about what could life of a loved one be if you are suddenly doomed to become non-existent. No one ever plans for death. But it is a required step. Especially for some one who plans early retirement. For the sake of your family, think about how things should be when your life is cut short in an evil twist of fate.
There are of course many aspects of leaving your legacy. But for today's post I want to talk about something actionable that you can do right now. One actionable item is to create a will. That way you can choose what and how much to give to each person or entity. But that is not what I am going to talk about in this post.
Talk to your dependants
I know this is hard. But you should let your parents, spouse and in some cases your kids know what they should do in case of your unexpected demise. The most important thing is tell them how to handle finances. Give them all the details of your investments. Where they are invested and how to access them. All the more useful if you can share your password with them.
Explain to them how they can generate income from your investments to meet the everyday expenses. Share any documents with them using Google Drive or other means that let you share electronic documents. Finally, if you have no secrets, consider sharing your content with them after your death. This is easy if you are using Google for most of your stuff.
Setting up Google inactive account manager
Google offers an excellent option to share all or some of your data stored with them if the account has not been accessed for some time. Presumably because you are dead. It is called Inactive Account Manager. I have already set it up, and thought the setup might help you too. So here are the steps. First visit inactive account manager. You will land on a page that looks like the below screenshot.
Click start. Then you go to step 2.
Here you can select how long you want Google to wait before it considers you to be dead. In my case, I have set it to 3 months of inactivity. Of course you will get notified via email and SMS a month before Google considers the account to be inactive. So make sure to fill in your phone number, email and alternate email. Click next. In the next page you will need to add people who will get your data after the account goes into inactive state.
Click on add person. Type in the email address of the person with whom you want to share data. Next you will be taken to a screen where you can select the data that you want to share with them.
Choose what you want to share and click next. You can also setup an auto-respond message after your account goes inactive.
Finally decide if your account should be deleted after inactivity.
Review your plan and you are all done! In my case, I have all my passwords stored in gmail in a semi-understandable state which the contacts I shared with can understand :). So hopefully after my death, they can manage.
There are men who go to their death screaming, and men who go their death silently and then you can be the third kindadapted from Rang De Basanti