An important thing you should do

I’m trying to manage my mom’s life while she’s incapacitated, and it’s a gigantic pain in the ass. Nobody likes to think about being incapacitated, but here’s something I would like to beg you to do on behalf of whoever might have to deal with the logistics of your life should you become incapacitated. (if it helps, let’s not think of this as a permanent incapacitation. Let’s say you lget mono or something and you’re just too damn tired to pay the bills, but you’re going to get better. Okay?)

I have two recommendations:

1a.) Get a password manager like 1Password. (I have no financial stake in that company—it’s just the one I use.) Use it to keep track of all your logins. There are lots of security reasons to do this, but you can read about those elsewhere. I’m just interested in making life easier for everyone should anything happen to you.

Once you’ve got all your logins in the passsword manager, make sure that your spouse or adult child or whoever you think will be stuck dealing with your stuff if you can’t has a copy of the master password. That way they can access your entire digital life just as if they were you, so they can pay bills, cancel services, etc. You would not believe what a pain in the ass this stuff is if you don’t have all the logins. But just to give you an example, I have to go in person with my power of attorney in hand in order to cancel my mom’s internet service. And the closest office of her internet company is 50 miles from where I live.


1b.) If you’re intimidated by a password manager or can’t afford one or just don’t feel comfortable entrusting your data to someone else, get a paper notebook and write this shit down and make sure someone else knows where to find it.

(I’ve read things from security experts saying your data is WAY less likely to get stolen this way than just on the internet. If someone breaks into your house, they’re looking for stuff they can sell quickly, and if you have a notebook in your freezer (I’ve been told that’s the best place for important papers as it’s the most likely thing in your house to survive a fire), they're not gonna dig past your frozen food in hopes of getting the ability to pay your electric bill. )

  1. Speaking of important papers, make sure they’re all together and easily findable. Maybe you don’t have room in your freezer for everything, but just make sure it’s somewhere. In a file labeled important papers or something. And, again, make sure someone else knows where it is. You never know when someone’s going to need your car title or your birth certificate or marriage certificate or whatever.

It sucks a lot to confront the possibility of being incapacitated. It also sucks a lot to try to manage the affairs of someone who’s incapacitated without all the necessary information.