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Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information? 208

New submitter UrsaMajor987 (3604759) writes I recently retired after a long career in IT. I am not ready to kick the bucket quite yet, but having seen the difficulty created by people dying without a will and documenting what they have and where it is, I am busy doing just that. At the end of it all, I will have documentation on financial accounts, passwords, etc., which I will want to share with a few people who are pretty far away. I can always print a copy and have it delivered to them, but is there any way to share this sort of information electronically? There are lots of things to secure transmission of data, but once it arrives on the recipients' desktop, you run the risk of their system being compromised and exposing the data. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is paper still the most secure way to go?
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Ask Slashdot: How To Bequeath Sensitive Information?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @02:43PM (#47274793)

    Put the passwords, etc on a piece of paper. Put that paper in a large envelope. Give that envelope to a firm that does document escrow (many law firms will do this) with instructions on who should be given a copy after your death. Let your friends and relatives know who has your escrowed docs. They provide proof of your death, and everyone gets a copy.

    Why exactly are we reinventing the wheel here? This is old hat stuff. You don't need to trust anyone not to open their present early. Firms that do document escrow have better theft prevention techniques than anything you're likely to cobble together.

    If you want to go super fancy, use USB keys encrypted with a pre-shared password instead of paper. Then you don't really have to trust the escrow folks.

  • This is the way to do it -- I've added one more step. My safety deposit box also includes a master password and a 1TB encrypted USB backup drive. Since the professional who wrote my will also advised leaving a copy in the box and registering that this is where the "official" notarized original is located, my executor will, by local laws, just have to provide proof of death and the copy of the will indicating they are the executor to access my box. Having the key (which they likely would) would help too.

  • by azadrozny ( 576352 ) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @03:37PM (#47275321)

    Safe deposit boxes can get funny depending on state law. First don't ever put the will in the box. The executor will need that access the box later. Furthermore, it could take several day or weeks to get the authority to open the box after the person has died, so don't put anything in there that is time critical.

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