Another Angle to Consider: Your Post-death Physical Legacy

Many of us, in this digital world, have given thoughts to how to pass on account numbers, passwords, log-ins, and access to our online and physical documentation.

The website Get your S&*%t Together (among many others) does an amazing good job of getting your estate data ready to be assumed–in one place, you can store all the essentials that would give your loved ones a good start on managing and wrapping up your affairs for you.   So many options exist for documenting your digital and official presence–most people will get it done to one degree or another, or at least know they need to do so.

But what of the more esoteric, not necessarily legal things which will be left to your loved ones to deal with?  My Wonderful Life includes a section on pet care, letting you indicate who the vets and providers your pet knows are, and who you would think should be considered as foster care for orphaned pets.   Facebook gives you the option to convert a profile into a memorial page, so there’s that.  Have you ever thought down to as far as how to keep the pool pump running, and what the septic system needs, or which hollow in the staircase stores the family heirloom jewelry?

In this article, the author describes the journey of working through and figuring out the peculiarities of her father’s house, courtesy of his lifelong passion as a tinkerer and computer nerd.  Discovering, documenting, and eventually dismantling the custom wiring and controls installed with no records, tracking down how to stop the automatic light programming, trying to silence an alarm system no one knew about–all these things, part of her father’s legacy, left to chance for her (or a subsequent buyer) to sort out.

While not as immediate or possibly costly as your funeral/final wishes planning, your physical-space legacy is no less important. If it’s unique knowledge, or a system of your own design, wouldn’t it be the kind thing to do to document it while you still can?   

PS to my father:  This includes things like, I dunno, THE STAMP COLLECTION.   Document that thing right now, doggone it!!   


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