Hacking is more prevalent than ever before and we are asked to change our passwords so often sometimes WE can’t remember what they are. Keeping a list of the logins, passwords, access codes and account numbers that identify everything from our banking, credit card and financial information to insurance, social media and our phones is imperative. It’s important that we also share detailed information regarding who can access this information in the event you should become unable to handle your own affairs. The person who has your power of attorney or is the executor of your will must be able to get into these accounts to settle your estate.

Privacy is extremely important and there are court battles going on to determine who – if anyone – can take possession of the information protected by passwords. It may be years before this is settled satisfactorily; the recommendation is to take steps to protect your information – and clearly identify who will have the right to look at it if you can no longer speak for yourself. Once you have determined who will be the “keeper of the keys”, make sure that others with a “right or need to know” are aware who that person is and how he or she can be reached. Take time now to be sure this information is in order for the upcoming year.