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do this for your heirs
Username & password info for heirs

 2:49 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Recently , my precious son was killed in a plane crash. He was a grad student and had created various websites on scattered domains, mostly on the topic of different types of aviation. He had an Adsense account and some other small (for him) things going on, like Amazon affiliate,etc...I have been unable to find anywhere, any written records of his user and pass info. He was brilliant, a research pilot, so I guess it was all in his head. He NEVER expected to die at 24.

In fact, I had recently asked HIM if he was sure he wanted to inherit MY web endeavors eventually, and told him where my log-in stuff was all written.

It has been a terrificly hard job to try to contact these corporate giants and find out where to fax a death certificate, etc...in order to obtain access to his sites and remove his email addy, or ask for his account to be merged with mine (Adsense)---etc.

It is hard enuf to deal with the shock and saddness, much less the added burden of this detective work I am having to do.

SO, for the sake of your heirs, who very well may be less techie than you, keep some kind of small notebook of site log-on & account info (like if you pay hosting by the yr, 6 months, etc...auto-deduct or check,) whatever. Don't make their jobs 10 times harder when they are least able to deal with it.

[edited by: rogerd at 3:30 am (utc) on Aug. 4, 2004]
[edit reason] Edited community-related content [/edit]



 2:56 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am saddened by your post, to the point of tears. We never think of this sort of thing, do we.

While I WILL take to heart your words of wisdom, there is nothing I can say that can express my feelings for you and your family.

Be well, be at peace if you can. May all of the rainbows you see somehow help to ease your sorrow, if only in the smallest amount.


 3:00 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp, I am so sorry for your loss.

A few months ago, someone in a Yahoo group I belong to, for short story writers, passed on. His daughter apparently was able to log in from his machine and tell us what had happened, because her message appeared to have been written by him.

I'm 52 and in very good health. I'm webmaster of three domains though, so I guess I had better do something along the lines you suggested, of writing things down somewhere for my family. I'll do that tonight. I'm sorry about your son.


 3:59 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm saddened by your post Shrimp. I'm sure that this is a very difficult time for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If there's anything I can do to help in your detective work then please let me know. Be well.


 4:04 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp sorry to hear about your son. My sympathies are with you.

This brings up a very good point though. How do you do this without risking the security of your data? I've got all my stuff encrypted to the gills and don't even trust myself to write it down. (The stuff I do have written down is encrypted.)

Does anybody have procedures in place to deal with a situation like this?


 4:21 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Definitely a reality check. Something I have occassionally considered but never have taken action on.

This brings up a very good point though. How do you do this without risking the security of your data? I've got all my stuff encrypted to the gills and don't even trust myself to write it down. (The stuff I do have written down is encrypted.)

Having been burgled, which in turn resulted in multiple cases of ID theft, this is an important consideration. I guess I would suggest a safe deposit box. Heirs will have access to it.



 4:41 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp, I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I have come to a crossroad with my own mortality in question.

safe deposit box

Yes, this is something I've given very hard thought to and feel this would be the most effective way to pass on the keys to my efforts. I've lost loved ones myself and understand the confusion involved in trying to find the information needed to continue or resolve. We can only imagine how important our work has been at this time and it is most certainly highest priority to make that accessible to our families should the need it.

God bless you and your family Shrimp and bless you for thinking of us in your most difficult time.


 4:43 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Prayers for your strength during this tragic loss.


 4:55 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp, I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you the best of luck in everything you do.


 3:49 pm on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)


That's so sad. I myself am a mountaineer and have had some friends die young. I often think I'm being foolish because I back up my files and upload my latest versions for colleagues to access, etc before going off on a big climb or something. I think "Why be melodramatic? Why be pessimistic?"

After reading your post I will now think "Why make it any harder than it is should something happen?"

Sorry for your loss,



 8:03 am on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Does anybody have procedures in place to deal with a situation like this?

First, I am very sorry for Shrimp, I never tell things to be politically correct as I am rarely politically correct, I sometimes think how my life would completely lose its sense if I ever lose my partner in life for example because I know I would like to commit suicide then. I'm not afraid of death though for me it's just something mechanical, I fear more the deaths of others, I fear more the sadness of those who would feel sad for me whereas I won't feel sad at all for myself.

As for the question above I once encountered this "freeweird" software it is called

"Dead Man's Switch"

"basically a system that, if not reset by a given time, will automatically carry out a series of tasks, such as posting messages to websites like Ars, sending e-mails to loved ones (or hated ones), and encrypting or destroying sensitive files (*cough* pr0n *cough*)."



 3:39 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank y'all for your kind words.
Here is how I have decided to handle the situation.

Since no nieces or nephews in our family are techie by nature, and most come from backgrounds w/ abundant resources, I have chosen one of my son's close friends to be my web heir.
He is in the IT dept for the local public school system. Since he is employed by the school system he will prob not ever earn much,and his dad, with a PhD has had a career in public education, so the son, I feel sure will never inherit much family $.

I have always been so very grateful for the teachers that my children had, the amount of stress and work involved for so little pay. One of our boys was in Special Ed, requiring even extra special teachers w/ tons of patience.

Anyway, I recently emailed and phoned this young friend and asked him if he was interested in receiving my web legacy should I pass suddenly. He said "definately".
I am planning to make a file folder with his name on it right away. In it, I will outline which sites I have, hosting details, which ones he could maintain pretty much 'as is' and still earn income,etc.
Some of them are on a pretty 'girlie' crafts subject, so he probably won't add much content, but they'll continue to earn for a while. Or if motivated, he could hire someone to create content for them. Others, he can improve and add his own content. In some cases, i own domains that I lease to others. He could easily double his income by maintaining my sites a few hours each week, the biggest part of the work has already been done of course.

This young man, who I do trust, is coming to my town in Oct for me to go over all this ifno w/ him. I explained, that things might change,( the web will of course ), and I might re-do the will and divide things up differently at some point. At any rate, I will leave him part of the package no matter what. He has kindly helped me in the past with networking and routers and such.

I am 53, so prob won't end up with more kids of my own, but who knows, people die, people re-marry, etc....wills have to be updated. But at least, if I go down in a car wreck or private plane accident like my son any time soon, my work can be continued and someone worthy will reap the benefits. Otherwise, it would all come to a screaching halt. What a waste that would be.

Since our last living child died, (our oldest son drown at age 15), we have re-done the will do pass our assets along to our most deserving and needy friends (most of that catagory are teachers) and the schools and organizations that most helped our kids while growing up. It has at least been kinda fun to think how thrilled some of these friends would be to find out they had inherited a sizable chunk of our estate.


 3:44 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

shrimp, I am deeply saddened by your loss. Praying for strength during your turbulent times.


 3:54 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)


I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you.

Thank you for imparting this valueable lesson. I just sat down and compiled all of my passwords into an Excel sheet. With over 80, there's no way anyone but me would be able to know them all.

Again, my deepest regrets to you and your family. May God bless you and your family.


 3:58 pm on Aug 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am saddened by your loss.

This points out that no matter how young and healthy we may be, the end could come at any time. We should be prepared with our will, documentation on things like funeral wishes, etc. and, yes, all the information necessary to gain access to internet accounts. For example, if you are receiving significant income from Adsense there should be a way for your heirs to continue to receive that income. That's why I have my checks made out to my business name; the business (not much but some internet stuff) will be passed to my heirs.

Even if your heirs know nothing about the internet and ecommerce, they may be able to sell the business or hire someone who does know. But they will need to know the names of the accounts and pass words.

A bank lockbox is a good place. There is much more information that may need to be passed to your heirs, particularly if you are older and have multiple bank accounts (perhaps in cities where you once lived). All of that information, as well as your will (or location of the will if your attorney has it) should be in one secure place, where your heirs will know how to find it. That should also include your internet account information and pass words as well as pass words for your computer and location of backup media.


 1:02 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp, that sounds like the best decision you could have made for this situation. You seem to be a very special person. I hope life begins to treat you more kindly.

Alain_bonaf, thanks for that link. Some great stuff there.


 1:34 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

this wouldnt be the one near madison would it?


 3:36 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Shrimp, sorry to hear of your loss. Yea, this is something all webmasters should think about. For me, in addition to worrying about my sites, I also have tons of affiliate programs. From my understanding, if the accounts are in my personal name, the money is only owed to me and not to my heirs. So, I created an LLC that now is used for my affiliate accounts so that if something happens to me, they still owe the money to the corporation which would go to my husband (or whoever got my kids if we went together for some reason). It is very important to have a gameplan in place.


 4:39 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did as Shrimp suggested. I saved the document in my C:\ directory, entitled "ifanythinghappens2me.doc", and then printed it out, signed it, and put it in my top desk drawer where I keep my checkbook, stamps, etc. Then I realized that non-tech people would need the Windows password to log onto my puter and follow my instructions, so I wrote the windows password at the top of the paper copy. Minor details, but could save family from needless hassles at a terrible time, so I thought I would mention it.


 11:26 pm on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)


May God help you to find some peace. I can not imagine losing one, let alone two children.

..... Shane


 11:43 pm on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

pretty heavy going must be a truly awful situ.


 7:49 pm on Aug 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is almost unbearable------I assure you.
Were it not for the fact that
A. both my husband and myself have elderly parents still living independently who depend on our help w/ decisions,etc now, and probably more later &
B. we both come from strong Christian backgrounds & simply have to believe that somehow God can use this to His glory, and heal our wounded hearts,

I think we'd both be happy to just jump off the nearest bridge asap to join our sons that we both miss so much.

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