Does death book NEED account numbers?

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okie745
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Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by okie745 »

Hi,
I am planning to write a "Death" book. (no plans to die anytime time soon).

I don't have a safe deposit box or any really secure place to store it. So I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)

If I say "Bank X: Checking account, Savings account", "Bank Y: Visa Card", "Vanguard: Roth IRA, brokerage account", "Insurance Company Z: life insurance policy with child X and Y as beneficiaries"

Is that good enough?

Does a death book NEED to have the account numbers listed in order to be beneficial? I do all my business online, so I don't have any paper that has account numbers on it.

thanks
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Lee_WSP
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Lee_WSP »

That is perfectly fine. Also include some means to access your digital files so your executor can retrieve those pesky emailed statements. A piece of paper in a safety deposit box should suffice.
Makefile
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Makefile »

You could redact all but a portion of the account numbers so that the person going through everything at least knows whether "that" account matches the one they've found.

Do you have TreasuryDirect? If so, I would put everything that could possibly help in the death book including the full account number...
exodusNH
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by exodusNH »

okie745 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:19 pm Hi,
I am planning to write a "Death" book. (no plans to die anytime time soon).

I don't have a safe deposit box or any really secure place to store it. So I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)

If I say "Bank X: Checking account, Savings account", "Bank Y: Visa Card", "Vanguard: Roth IRA, brokerage account", "Insurance Company Z: life insurance policy with child X and Y as beneficiaries"

Is that good enough?

Does a death book NEED to have the account numbers listed in order to be beneficial? I do all my business online, so I don't have any paper that has account numbers on it.

thanks
Unless you're being specifically targeted, a thief is going to go for cash, jewelry, laptops, video game consoles, iPads, and firearms. They're not going to rifle through a random file cabinet hoping to steal your identity. They want to get in, out, and to the pawn shop to get cash.
robphoto
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by robphoto »

Whatever you do, please do complete the book. I'm currently deducing accounts from check records, credit card statements, etc. I did, though, find among the papers a blank book (not filled in) with descriptive chapters and places to write in one's accounts, etc.
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CAsage
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CAsage »

Who will be dealing with your estate? I am worried (for us as well) that with everything online, and your account logins expiring with you... how on earth will anyone find things? In your case, I would consider either leaving a complete record (with account numbers) with your executor, either in a sealed envelope (like old movies, to be opened only in event of my death) or a password protected file on a USB drive. Swap it out every other year. Note that if things are beneficiary, it will be sufficient for the heir to call the institution with your SSN and their name, they will find it all. It helps to have as complete a list as possible. I don't have a death book (yet), but do file a list of all my assets with my last tax return in my office. One tries.
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tenkuky
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by tenkuky »

Many banks are shutting down safe deposit boxes.
Where to keep key documents becomes even more pertinent now and accessible to the executor.
I am wondering if using a Password Manager is the best solution and just have the master password to access for executor.
But again, where to keep it?
I believe someone suggested there is an auto email that can go out programmed at some point but I may have imagined that :shock:
InMyDreams
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by InMyDreams »

Fidelity's FidSafe was mentioned in a BH retirement/pre-retirement meetings as a place to keep "in case" and important documents online. I think I remember correctly -
You don't have to be a Fidelity investor.
The person who receives the info also has to have a Fidelity account (but with FidSafe is probably enough?)
No charge.
https://www.fidsafe.com/
diy60
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by diy60 »

okie745 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:19 pmSo I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)
Maybe it's a BH thing thinking someone is going to rob your house looking to steal your accounts and identity. That has not been my experience. Within my direct family we have had several home burglaries. All of the suspects were eventually caught by the police (working high quality security cameras were in place). All of the suspects were local kids aged between 13 to 18, jacked up on illegal street meds. They were looking for cash, game consoles, phones, and guns.

I would make a comprehensive binder, have it in a convenient location, and make sure your trusted family members are aware of the binder and its location.
dukeblue219
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by dukeblue219 »

diy60 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 6:44 pm Maybe it's a BH thing thinking someone is going to rob your house looking to steal your accounts and identity.
You don't need to do a nine pass erase followed by mechanical destruction on an old hard drive, nor own a cross cut paper shredder for junk mail, but it doesn't stop people from thinking criminals are a lot more dedicated than they are. :)
Northern Flicker
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

If you save account statements, this should not be needed. Treasury direct is the only institution I know of that does not generate statements. And paper savings bonds are a common asset for an executor to miss.
My postings represent my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
dukeblue219
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by dukeblue219 »

Northern Flicker wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:36 pm If you save account statements, this should not be needed.
I think this is exactly why such a book or listing is now necessary - few people receive paper statements, or at least not for every account.
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windaar
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by windaar »

An old trick is to have some number patterns that are nulls that your family knows about. So for example 551, 771, and 991 found in any account number are to be removed. If those patterns ARE in any actual acct #, follow that number with 666.
Nobody knows nothing.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

dukeblue219 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 8:04 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:36 pm If you save account statements, this should not be needed.
I think this is exactly why such a book or listing is now necessary - few people receive paper statements, or at least not for every account.
Ensuring that the executor has access to statements, whether paper or electronic, is important. Once that goal is met, the list of accounts in the book is redundant.
My postings represent my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
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telemark
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by telemark »

I had to contact a number of financial institutions, including Vanguard and a credit union, following the death of a relative. None of them asked for account numbers, just the identity of the deceased and a copy of the death certificate (uploading a scan was good enough there). So while having the account numbers might be nice I can't argue that it's necessary, at least as long as you have beneficiaries designated for everything.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

That usually will be fine, but generally there should be some due diligence to ensure that all accounts have been identified, and to verify the balances and beneficiaries of record, rather than just assuming that the institution's data is correct.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by ApeAttack »

I add a few random characters in front of all account numbers, passwords, etc... in my death book. My wife knows how to subtract the extraneous characters.
Just another lazy index investor.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CRC_Volunteer »

If you are using MS Word to write your document, just use Keepass and save the *.docx document there. I have EVERYTHING in Kepass, so my kids will not have to root around to find all my relevant information.

This includes Tax Returns, account information, and challenge/response information. I use a long complex password, so the data is secure incase the *.kbdx file is copied. ESPECIALLY put your PIN code for your phones and other personal devices.
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tadamsmar
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by tadamsmar »

My strategy is to not provide account numbers. I don't see the need and it's just more stuff to keep up-to-date.

My death "book" is literally 1 side of one sheet of paper, with a copy in my safe deposit box.

I mainly list the companies (banks, custodians). I do list whether each of us have individual accounts or joint accounts at a given company.

The executor and the beneficiaries need to know the names of the companies.

The executor will be able to get all they need from the companies. The get access to all the funds in the estate. My MIL passed away recently and there was no need for statements or account numbers. Everything was transferred to the beneficiaries under new account numbers.

Seems that people are slaving away on death books without ever bothering to learn the actual procedures for executors and beneficiaries after a death. Put some time in learning what you actually will need to do and also what you should not do.

I suppose the point in having account numbers is that you could perhaps help the financial institution avoid missing any accounts. I figure that is too unlikely to worry about.

People are mentioning providing passwords. But (1) dead people don't do transactions (2) passwords necessary for the beneficiaries to get their inheritance (3) password sharing opens up all sorts of problematic possibilities.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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tadamsmar
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by tadamsmar »

telemark wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:07 pm I had to contact a number of financial institutions, including Vanguard and a credit union, following the death of a relative. None of them asked for account numbers, just the identity of the deceased and a copy of the death certificate (uploading a scan was good enough there). So while having the account numbers might be nice I can't argue that it's necessary, at least as long as you have beneficiaries designated for everything.
Bingo!

It's rare in these threads that someone mentions the real process that occurs after the death of a relative.

And you can look up the contact number if you know the name of the financial institution. So you don't really need it either, but you don't want people confused about which financial institution to contact, so the name has to be unambiguous.

And even if beneficiaries are not designated, there will he a default beneficiary and you only need the name of the financial institution to determine the default beneficiary. It is usually either the spouse or the estate.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:47 am If you are using MS Word to write your document, just use Keepass and save the *.docx document there. I have EVERYTHING in Kepass, so my kids will not have to root around to find all my relevant information.

This includes Tax Returns, account information, and challenge/response information. I use a long complex password, so the data is secure incase the *.kbdx file is copied. ESPECIALLY put your PIN code for your phones and other personal devices.
Hopefully they will remember the master key. Keepass security is enhanced by iterating the encryption a large number (millions) of times. It then might take say 5 seconds of actual CPU time to open and close the password safe, not a big deal for normal use. But it means that a brute force attack must iterate the encryption algorithm millions of times for each guess.
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cjcerny
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by cjcerny »

“Death” book doesn’t need account numbers or passwords. Nice to have them, but not necessary. Institutions are used to being contacted with forms and death certificates. Having that info around could also make you vulnerable if it were stolen, so there is a downside to having it in your death book. Best info you can have in your book would be contact info for the various institutions you dealt with.
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telemark
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by telemark »

One other useful item I don't often see mentioned is this: write your own obituary. You can include or leave out personal details as you please, but just collecting the basic facts -- date and place of birth, full names of parents, military service, degrees earned, etc. -- can save someone else some effort at a time when they have enough other things to deal with.
invest4
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by invest4 »

I want it to be as easy as possible for those who have to manage it. My document has everything including explanations as to their purpose and any other interesting bits that remove guesswork. I am not overly concerned about the document being taken from the place where it resides and utilize the available safeguards (authenticator, etc.) to make it more difficult for the more likely scenario of anonymous people reaching out from afar behind a screen.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by investorpeter »

Having gone through this process myself a few years ago (piecing together a deceased relative’s financial life from bits of incomplete information) I can say that you don’t NEED account number info to claim accounts as a beneficiary, but it is helpful to have them. Even more helpful is to have a paper statement with account number info AND balance amount. I can think of multiple instances where a financial institution had difficulty identifying an account I knew existed because I had paper statements, despite providing death certificate, SSN, DOB and mailing address. Chase, for example, said they could not identify an old checking account because it had become dormant, and dormant accounts were not “searchable” using their normal process. It took multiple attempts before they found it. Wells Fargo’s estate department was particularly egregious in their incompetence (frequently losing paperwork by claiming it was never received, providing inconsistent information depending on who answered the phone, and generally just being unhelpful). Much confusion ensues when there are multiple accounts at the same institution because the search may stop once one account has been found, leaving the others undiscovered.

So I am in favor of having digital copies of statements on an encrypted USB, along with instructions, in lieu of a physical “death book”. Also, beyond financial accounts, it is very helpful to have a list of recurring bills (utilities, insurance, taxes, etc.), and for these, knowing the account usernames and passwords can save ALOT of time and aggravation.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by MikeG62 »

invest4 wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 4:46 am I want it to be as easy as possible for those who have to manage it. My document has everything including explanations as to their purpose and any other interesting bits that remove guesswork. I am not overly concerned about the document being taken from the place where it resides and utilize the available safeguards (authenticator, etc.) to make it more difficult for the more likely scenario of anonymous people reaching out from afar behind a screen.
^This.

My document has account numbers. A copy is on our safe with the original stored securely in the cloud (with instructions as to how to locate it). In fact, the very opening paragraph to the document suggests my DW check the cloud (with instructions as to how to locate it) to ensure she has the most current version.
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OpenMinded1
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

tenkuky wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 2:51 pm Many banks are shutting down safe deposit boxes.
Where to keep key documents becomes even more pertinent now and accessible to the executor.
I am wondering if using a Password Manager is the best solution and just have the master password to access for executor.
But again, where to keep it?
I believe someone suggested there is an auto email that can go out programmed at some point but I may have imagined that :shock:
Lastpass, a popular password manager, has an emergency access feature. With security in mind, the key to this feature is that the person prearranged to have emergency access has to send a message requesting access and then wait a designated amount of time before they can get into the other persons password vault without permission. (Permission is implied after a certain amount of time.) The person that designated the person to have emergency access can deny access during this waiting period. The person setting emergency access up designates the amount of time the other person has to wait before being about to get in. It could be two weeks for example.

The following is from the Lastpass site.

Password loss can be devastating. As we live more of our lives online, it's important to have a contingency plan to protect our accounts, data, and information once we're gone. Emergency Access give others simple, safe access to your passwords, accounts, and secure notes on your behalf – in the event of an emergency or death.

Whether you want to invite one friend or five family members, Emergency Access allows you to add other LastPass users (that you trust) as emergency contacts. Just as you hope emergency services like the fire department will be there for you when you need them most, your emergency contacts are there to guarantee your passwords never truly get lost.

Access is granted only when you approve of it. By setting a wait time when choosing your contacts, you give yourself a chance to deny access.

For instance, you get into a car accident. You're injured and taken to the hospital by an ambulance; yet you're cognizant and still have control of your bodily functions. Upon hearing the news of your accident, your spouse instantly requests Emergency Access.

Similarly, you can deny other access requests to protect your account. Otherwise, access will be granted if the wait time expires without action on your part – which, likely, means the request was justified.

Last edited by OpenMinded1 on Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:58 am, edited 5 times in total.
OpenMinded1
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

There's a lot of information on the topic of death books in another thread - viewtopic.php?p=6482080
michaeljc70
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by michaeljc70 »

No, you don't need account numbers. I would put account types though. For example, I have a taxable, Roth and tIRA at Schwab.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by nisiprius »

My personal theory is that it is important that the death book include only information that is stable and requires only very infrequent updating.

The problem for the survivors isn't having all the information at their fingertips. The problem for the survivors is 1) being sure that they have found everything, and 2) having whatever they might need for authorization to do what they need to do.

I don't believe the death book should be very detailed. During the excitement of the project it is tempting to try to do a good job, it's sort of fun, like organizing a photo album, but the question is whether you will keep it up.

If the death book fails to remove details of accounts that have been closed, the survivor is going to waste time trying to figure out if it's an active account. I would say generally that identifying closed accounts is almost as important as documenting new ones. You are always sent stuff saying "save this important stuff" and until recently I still had some checkbooks from long-closed money market funds in the back of a drawer.

If account numbers have changed, as when Vanguard migrated my mutual accounts to the new platform, or when Medicare changed them all in 2018, wrong account numbers may even be worse than no account numbers.

Even the roughest of rough ballpark numbers on the size of our accounts can go seriously out of date. We just moved, meaning we bought a new house and are in the process of selling our old one, so there are some numbers bouncing up and down by six figures.

I believe the death book should be very short and should focus itself not on making things super easy for the survivors, but on making sure they don't overlook anything, and aren't confused by canceled accounts.

"I have a rollover IRA, a Roth IRA, and a taxable account at Vanguard." That plus Social Security numbers plus a death certificate is probably enough to get everything, and without a great deal of trouble.
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Watty
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Watty »

I just have a file folder with that I put the end of year account statements in. We still also get paper statement for almost everything so someone can do things like pay the bills if we are unable to.

There are lots of old threads about what to do with passwords that you can look up. The bottom line is that somehow making your passwords accessible for people is likely against the terms of service and may void the cyber fraud protection that your financial institution has.

It may be also illegal for them to into actually do anything with the password after you die if they are not the executor to your estate. There are other ways to give them authorization to do transactions on your account by setting them up as an authorized agent for your account.

The kicker is that setting up your passwords for someone to use if you die likely will not even work. The problem is that when a death certificate is issued the credit bureaus are notified and many accounts are quickly locked down. That is one of the reasons it is important for each spouse to have credit cards in their own name and not just have credit cards in for their spouses accounts. In some states even a jointly owned safe deposit box will be sealed when one of the owners dies.
telemark wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:37 am One other useful item I don't often see mentioned is this: write your own obituary. You can include or leave out personal details as you please, but just collecting the basic facts -- date and place of birth, full names of parents, military service, degrees earned, etc. -- can save someone else some effort at a time when they have enough other things to deal with.
Having a list of people and their contact information that should be called and told when your funeral is could also be very useful. My mom outlived my dad and when she died it was hard to figure out who to call to let them know when the funeral was and there were some people that we did not have the contact information for.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by tadamsmar »

The bottom line is that somehow making your passwords accessible for people is likely against the terms of service and may void the cyber fraud protection that your financial institution has.
It use to be that not sharing your password was a stated responsibility to get fraud protection at Vanguard. Now the wording has changed so that transactions using a shared password are considered authorized. But, of course, sharing passwords can complicate the fraud investigation and there is no legitimate use of a dead person's password.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by abuss368 »

tenkuky wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 2:51 pm Many banks are shutting down safe deposit boxes.
I never had a safe deposit box ever as I simply never had a need.

I talked to a couple of colleagues in banking and they did mention that safe deposit boxes are quickly becoming a thing of the past as everything continues to move online.

Times, they are a changing.

Tony
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by abuss368 »

okie745 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:19 pm Hi,
I am planning to write a "Death" book. (no plans to die anytime time soon).

I don't have a safe deposit box or any really secure place to store it. So I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)

If I say "Bank X: Checking account, Savings account", "Bank Y: Visa Card", "Vanguard: Roth IRA, brokerage account", "Insurance Company Z: life insurance policy with child X and Y as beneficiaries"

Is that good enough?

Does a death book NEED to have the account numbers listed in order to be beneficial? I do all my business online, so I don't have any paper that has account numbers on it.

thanks
I long ago focused on simplicity and that has helped a lot of the years. Less accounts and clutter. My spouse haas a printout of Vanguard PAS and will hire them right away in the event of disability or the aliens get me!

I do have a very simple paper typed up with useful information. That paper used to be 4 pages and is now 3. It will soon be 1-2 pages as the next stage of life unfolds with kids growing up, debts paid off, retirement someday.

In my opinion, it is most important one knows where to access information.

Life does get easier!

Best.
Tony
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CRC_Volunteer »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:04 am
CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:47 am If you are using MS Word to write your document, just use Keepass and save the *.docx document there. I have EVERYTHING in Kepass, so my kids will not have to root around to find all my relevant information.

This includes Tax Returns, account information, and challenge/response information. I use a long complex password, so the data is secure incase the *.kbdx file is copied. ESPECIALLY put your PIN code for your phones and other personal devices.
Hopefully they will remember the master key. Keepass security is enhanced by iterating the encryption a large number (millions) of times. It then might take say 5 seconds of actual CPU time to open and close the password safe, not a big deal for normal use. But it means that a brute force attack must iterate the encryption algorithm millions of times for each guess.
Within my safety deposit box (my bank has a years long waiting list for one), is a clamshell that contains:

001) The master password to open Keepass. The password is long and contains Uppercase, Lowercase, Numerics, and National characters.
002) The USB drives which contains the *.kbdx file. There is one for each child.
003) A multi-terrabyte SSD that has a backup of my entire system (Boot and Data drives).

I have 002 clamshells that I rotate every couple of months.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by rob »

telemark wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:07 pm I had to contact a number of financial institutions, including Vanguard and a credit union, following the death of a relative. None of them asked for account numbers, just the identity of the deceased and a copy of the death certificate (uploading a scan was good enough there). So while having the account numbers might be nice I can't argue that it's necessary, at least as long as you have beneficiaries designated for everything.
This relies on the institution been able to group all accounts together... If they were opened recently with SSN's for all parties then ok, but I suggest you don't rely on this if it's an old acct or not all parties had SSN's collected.
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by abuss368 »

tenkuky wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 2:51 pm Many banks are shutting down safe deposit boxes.
Where to keep key documents becomes even more pertinent now and accessible to the executor.
I am wondering if using a Password Manager is the best solution and just have the master password to access for executor.
But again, where to keep it?
I believe someone suggested there is an auto email that can go out programmed at some point but I may have imagined that :shock:
I have one single small binder organized with tabs by subject with important documents. I did not want to place online and also to have a central place where it can be accessed by spouse and family if needed.

Best.
Tony
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Northern Flicker
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:16 am
Within my safety deposit box (my bank has a years long waiting list for one), is a clamshell that contains:

001) The master password to open Keepass. The password is long and contains Uppercase, Lowercase, Numerics, and National characters.
002) The USB drives which contains the *.kbdx file. There is one for each child.
What benefit do you get from the encryption if you store the master key in the safety deposit box with the USB drives containing copies of the password safe?

The point of the encryption would be say to store the master key in the safe box, and the Keepass file outside the safe box. Then it requires physical access to both to decrypt the data, and you can make changes without needing to make a trip to the bank where the safe box is located.
My postings represent my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by LilyFleur »

I started preparing information for an attorney for a trust, and I was sent forms that requested all of my financial account numbers. There must be a good reason for that, I'm thinking.

Of course, a trust is different than a death book.

It seems to me that there are two aspects of estate planning: creating it in the first place, and then updating it as time goes on and investments change.
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CRC_Volunteer
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CRC_Volunteer »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:21 pm
CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:16 am
Within my safety deposit box (my bank has a years long waiting list for one), is a clamshell that contains:

001) The master password to open Keepass. The password is long and contains Uppercase, Lowercase, Numerics, and National characters.
002) The USB drives which contains the *.kbdx file. There is one for each child.
What benefit do you get from the encryption if you store the master key in the safety deposit box with the USB drives containing copies of the password safe?

The point of the encryption would be say to store the master key in the safe box, and the Keepass file outside the safe box. Then it requires physical access to both to decrypt the data, and you can make changes without needing to make a trip to the bank where the safe box is located.
You never want to have your data stored in one place. Copy3 of my data is kept offsite in my safety deposit box for security reasons. Besides the clamshell, every important piece of paper we have is kept in the safety deposit box.

This is the basic tenant of IT and the securing of your data.
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nisiprius
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by nisiprius »

Passwords are not a good idea, because over the last few years the introduction of various forms of two-factor authentication have made it much more difficult to do harmless, well-intentioned, authorized impersonation. Even when the departed has authorized impersonation by putting the passwords in the death book.

The chances that a website is going to send a verification code to a cell phone or email address are getting to be pretty high. Even if you have found the deceased one's cell phone and it's still charged, you might be unable to get into it because of facial recognition or a fingerprint sensor. And if you have three login failures you may get get locked out.
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bsteiner
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by bsteiner »

LilyFleur wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:40 pm I started preparing information for an attorney for a trust, and I was sent forms that requested all of my financial account numbers. There must be a good reason for that, I'm thinking.

Of course, a trust is different than a death book.

It seems to me that there are two aspects of estate planning: creating it in the first place, and then updating it as time goes on and investments change.
We ask for account numbers for life insurance and retirement benefits so we can prepare the riders to the beneficiary designation forms. But we don’t need the account numbers for your taxable accounts. Your Will operates on whatever you own at your death, which may be different from what you own now.

But if your estate is large enough that you expect to pay estate tax and you’re considering setting up trusts to make gifts to shift wealth out of your estate, we need to understand your assets (though we don’t need to know the names of the financial institutions or the account numbers).
Northern Flicker
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Northern Flicker »

CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:44 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:21 pm
What benefit do you get from the encryption if you store the master key in the safety deposit box with the USB drives containing copies of the password safe?

The point of the encryption would be say to store the master key in the safe box, and the Keepass file outside the safe box. Then it requires physical access to both to decrypt the data, and you can make changes without needing to make a trip to the bank where the safe box is located.
You never want to have your data stored in one place. Copy3 of my data is kept offsite in my safety deposit box for security reasons. Besides the clamshell, every important piece of paper we have is kept in the safety deposit box.

This is the basic tenant of IT and the securing of your data.
No issue with an offsite backup. Encrypting it and storing the encryption key in the safe box with it is what I was referring to.
My postings represent my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
dcdowden
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by dcdowden »

CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:47 am If you are using MS Word to write your document, just use Keepass and save the *.docx document there. I have EVERYTHING in Kepass, so my kids will not have to root around to find all my relevant information.

This includes Tax Returns, account information, and challenge/response information. I use a long complex password, so the data is secure incase the *.kbdx file is copied. ESPECIALLY put your PIN code for your phones and other personal devices.
I use Keepass2 for all my password info, but didn't realize that you could use it to store documents as well. I just took a closer look and saw that you can attach a file to an entry. Is that how you do it?
michaeljc70
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I'm trying to keep things simple. I have everything in Quicken. Since my spouse doesn't have the password to my laptop, I've instructed them to just cut off my index finger after I pass to be able to get into the laptop via the fingerprint reader. This keeps me from having to keep telling them the password after I change it and possibly forgetting to inform them. Safety deposit boxes are so old school.
Steady59
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by Steady59 »

To the original question about storing account #s, I've reduced them to the last 4 in my death book. In my experience after going through an estate settlement this year, its all I needed.
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CRC_Volunteer
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CRC_Volunteer »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 5:51 pm
CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:44 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:21 pm
What benefit do you get from the encryption if you store the master key in the safety deposit box with the USB drives containing copies of the password safe?

The point of the encryption would be say to store the master key in the safe box, and the Keepass file outside the safe box. Then it requires physical access to both to decrypt the data, and you can make changes without needing to make a trip to the bank where the safe box is located.
You never want to have your data stored in one place. Copy3 of my data is kept offsite in my safety deposit box for security reasons. Besides the clamshell, every important piece of paper we have is kept in the safety deposit box.

This is the basic tenant of IT and the securing of your data.
No issue with an offsite backup. Encrypting it and storing the encryption key in the safe box with it is what I was referring to.
Remember, the data is being extracted from my laptop at home. Therefore, the data is unprotected until it is moved to the offsite location. That is why the data on the external devices is encrypted. I use WinRAR to create a password protected self-extracting executable. My children will not need WinRAR installed to access the data. They "double click" the executable and enter the password and it will unpack the data for them to access.

My laptop and disk drives are password protected. If it is stolen, the laptop and drives are, in essence, a brick. I do not use Bitlocker, as I have seen the TPM chip go bad. Unless you saved off the Bitlocker code for your machine, you have lost all your data.

I hope I have answered your question.

<edited> Besides *.kbdx files, I keep a number of other folders/files stored on those external devices.
Last edited by CRC_Volunteer on Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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CRC_Volunteer
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by CRC_Volunteer »

dcdowden wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:39 pm
CRC_Volunteer wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:47 am If you are using MS Word to write your document, just use Keepass and save the *.docx document there. I have EVERYTHING in Kepass, so my kids will not have to root around to find all my relevant information.

This includes Tax Returns, account information, and challenge/response information. I use a long complex password, so the data is secure incase the *.kbdx file is copied. ESPECIALLY put your PIN code for your phones and other personal devices.
I use Keepass2 for all my password info, but didn't realize that you could use it to store documents as well. I just took a closer look and saw that you can attach a file to an entry. Is that how you do it?
Yes. I have my tax returns, wills, POA, advanced directives and anything else stored within Keepass. You can store any datatype in there. I have pdfs, jpeg, text, whatever in there.
"Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up." (Inigo Montoya) | | 60/32/08 | 48% VTSAX | 12% VTIAX | 32% VAIPX | 8% CASH
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enad
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by enad »

okie745 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:19 pm Hi,
I am planning to write a "Death" book. (no plans to die anytime time soon).

I don't have a safe deposit box or any really secure place to store it. So I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)

If I say "Bank X: Checking account, Savings account", "Bank Y: Visa Card", "Vanguard: Roth IRA, brokerage account", "Insurance Company Z: life insurance policy with child X and Y as beneficiaries"

Is that good enough?

Does a death book NEED to have the account numbers listed in order to be beneficial? I do all my business online, so I don't have any paper that has account numbers on it.

thanks
I would put as much information in the book so that the beneficiary would have not issues gaining access to the information i.e. account owner(s), account beneficiaries, account names, logins, passwords, website, etc ... I would include all banking, credit union, investment accounts as well as any documentation on insurance policies, deeds, titles, etc ... A copy of your last will and testament, living will, trust, etc ... Basically the "keys to the kingdom". If you do all your business online you can obtain all thin information and open up a document or notepad, etc ... and then print out that piece of paper which may bend up being several pages. You can put the stuff in an envelope and tape it to the bottom of a dresser, just let someone you know and trust where the envelope is if you don't have a safe
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tadamsmar
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Re: Does death book NEED account numbers?

Post by tadamsmar »

enad wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 12:06 am
okie745 wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:19 pm Hi,
I am planning to write a "Death" book. (no plans to die anytime time soon).

I don't have a safe deposit box or any really secure place to store it. So I am leery about putting too sensitive of data in it. (worried about identity theft in case some robs my house)

If I say "Bank X: Checking account, Savings account", "Bank Y: Visa Card", "Vanguard: Roth IRA, brokerage account", "Insurance Company Z: life insurance policy with child X and Y as beneficiaries"

Is that good enough?

Does a death book NEED to have the account numbers listed in order to be beneficial? I do all my business online, so I don't have any paper that has account numbers on it.

thanks
I would put as much information in the book so that the beneficiary would have not issues gaining access to the information i.e. account owner(s), account beneficiaries, account names, logins, passwords, website, etc ... I would include all banking, credit union, investment accounts as well as any documentation on insurance policies, deeds, titles, etc ... A copy of your last will and testament, living will, trust, etc ... Basically the "keys to the kingdom". If you do all your business online you can obtain all thin information and open up a document or notepad, etc ... and then print out that piece of paper which may bend up being several pages. You can put the stuff in an envelope and tape it to the bottom of a dresser, just let someone you know and trust where the envelope is if you don't have a safe
A beneficiary can have all that information and be unable to get their inheritance.

I think people should look into the actual process before writing a death book.

But, on the other hand, with that information a beneficiary (or anyone else) could certainly log in and configure the account so that they are the only beneficiary and then change the password so that the other beneficiaries could not configure it again. So they do have at least one of the "keys to the kingdom"
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