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Book review: Where's the Password?

In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote following the adoption of the American Constitution "….in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Many try to ignore the inevitability of the former but a little booklet by Deborah Wilkinson-Gray points out that a little practical preparation can save your family a great deal of stress. Where's the Password? highlights the importance of having a Personal Information Log in which all those key things that no-one else knows are put together in one place. You know, that stuff about which lawyer has your will (haven't made one? - your family won't appreciate the added complications you cause by dying intestate!), where the money is (bank accounts, investments and possibly who you have loaned money to or borrowed from), and who holds your insurance policies.

Then there is the matter of Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for property/finance and health. If you have a serious accident, go ‘gaga’, or for any reason you lose the ability to make decisions, who is going to do that for you? Get EPAs in place before it happens.

Deborah covers a lot more things as well. I thought I was reasonably well organised but Where's the Password? reminded me that there's a lot of stuff I hadn't thought about and that the password-protected personal information already on my laptop would be difficult to access unless someone else knows where to find it and how to open the file.

This is a very useful little book you can read at a sitting, but having read it, do something - get your Personal Information Log in place and tell a trusted person how to locate it!

Deborah writes out of the experience of losing her husband and the issues arising for her from this. Highly recommended - available through the Waiuku library, but you may have to reserve it as I think there is only one copy for the whole of Auckland City.    

Reviewed by Colin Hood

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