Getting one’s affairs in order

Last year, whilst the current Mrs Masher and I were out walking the mutt one day, Mrs M suddenly said – apropos of nothing – “We must get our wills updated.”

I agreed. We had made a will together shortly after we got married and so much has changed since then – (kids mainly, but other stuff too) – that I realised our will would be woefully out of date and was no longer what we wanted.

We agreed to sort it out… but haven’t yet done so.

“Also”, she said, “if you suddenly snuff it, I’ve got no idea about your bank accounts. You need to write the details down, so I’ll know.”

Again, this is true: we both keep separate bank accounts (always have done). It works for us.  But, I have half a dozen different accounts that I use for paying bills and for savings and things.  If I were to drop dead tomorrow, she would need immediate access to those accounts, in order to keep the debtors from the door.

I agreed to sort that out too. But, how to do it? I certainly didn’t like the idea of writing everything down – account numbers, passwords, security questions, etc – and putting it in a brown envelope in the filing box, as per Mrs M’s suggestion. Far too risky. What if we got burgled whilst away on holiday?

What you see in the picture above, is the solution I came up with. Inside that red key box, is a memory stick. It contains EVERYTHING. All my accounts, with login details and passwords, but also a written description as to what I use each account for.

There are also written instructions on what to do with all my stuff, if I unexpectedly shuffle off.  I’ve got a lot of gear and have already made some verbal arrangements with friends, but these instructions should help her to dispose of some – or all – of my ‘crap’.

There are also some detailed instructions for the funeral, including the mp3 files of the music I’d like played.

And contact phone numbers of various friends etc that I’d want to be alerted to – what would surely be – the terribly sad news of my demise.

But – I hear you cry – a memory stick! That’s not very secure!

Well, there are three levels of protection here:

  1. It is hidden. Very well hidden. Hidden such, that it wouldn’t be accidentally stumbled upon and only an extensive search would uncover it.
  2. The memory stick is 256AES encrypted and only the multiple character encryption key will unlock it. And you only get six attempts, before it self-erases.   Mrs M only knows part of the key; the other part is with a friend.
  3. The financial files on the stick (giving access to Masher’s millions) are further protected with extra encryption, for which the key is also with a friend – a friend who is under strict instruction to only ever give the key to Mrs M… and even then,  only when I’m gone.

I feel confident that this is secure enough for me to hold such information on.  Plus, it’s dead easy for me to update, as and when I need to.

Now all I need to do, is get round to sorting the will out, then a copy of that can go on there too.

Affairs sorted.



  1. Alan

    I have an affair I need to put in order. Oh, not that sort.
    Just the names of the banks etc would have done. You will be surprised how helpful they are when sorting out ones millions.
    Mind you I have generated a list for the other half and that is in the safe.
    We had someone come round to do our wills when we were living up your way and all we have to do is alter the copy we have and sign it then send it off to make any changes. A new will is then sent to us for signing and returning for safe keeping.

    • Masher

      I did think about getting one of those safes, but then, I thought, if i can carry it out of Homebase, then a burglar would be able to carry it out of my home, and will then have as much time at tryiing to open it, as he needs.

      • Alan

        A burglar would have to pull the the wall down and lift the floor to take mine.

  2. Frances

    I used to work in a bank, and I believe that if you shuffle off this mortal coil……any bank accounts in your name only would be ” frozen” until probate has been completed…which can take months !!

    • Masher

      I always remember some years back when my uncle died suddenly. It took months and months before my aunt was able to access the bank accounts. That was at the front of my mind when doing this: allowing Mrs M access BEFORE anything gets frozen.

  3. Brennig

    I have a Will. It’s bang up to date. Mrs B doesn’t have a Will. She’s useless at such admin and org. The latter terrifies me. But funeral planning is something we have discussed. Maybe I need to blog about this kind of thing so there is a public record, just to ensure she doesn’t slip The Cure in to the service…

    • Masher

      It might be prudent. With this Coroa lark, who knows?

      • Brennig

        I used to like a cold glass of Corona. Cherryade or Dandylion & Burdock were my favourites

  4. Alan

    I think Mr M has lost the WILL to scribe a new blog.

  5. Rajesh

    A geocacher signature :)..

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