A fatal accident

I’ve been thinking for a long time about what would happen if I were to have a fatal accident. Leaving my girl friend, my pets and my family is a horrible thought. And what will happen with my business life? Sounds like a strange question, but I’m a self-employed freelancer switching projects, having own software in App Store & Play Store. Having a lot of running servers. As this double self-employed person, I have also a lot of bank accounts, insurances and document structures.

My family has no knowledge of this. I would leave my loved ones with a pile of work, and everything they needed to clean up would be on an encrypted hard drive.

The first idea was an automatic API that initiates all the necessary steps as soon as a dead man’s switch is activated. Yes.. a nerdy idea and an absolute perfection of a software developer. And in the end the software doesn’t work properly or is triggered too early? No thanks!

Back to the roots

Last month the simple idea of a red folder comes in my mind. Writing down all necessary things and put it in a binder to my (home-)office. My partner knows about this folder. It is also appropriately labeled.

My emergency directory

This folder contains documents to all important things of my private and business life

  • Which insurances I have
  • Which bank & trade accounts I own
  • Locations of my documents (computer & office)
  • My wishes for my funeral
  • Contact persons who can help for work related things
  • A few loving words to my favorite people
  • Suggestion what to do with my stuff (car, children toys, …)
  • And step by step manuals for transfer or shutdown my hosted servers
  • Explain folder structures on my computer and in my office shelf


At least there is only one problem left. How to handle secrets, like passwords. I have more than 100 passwords. Some of them are changed regularly. They should also be stored securely to protect them from unauthorized access.

I solved this by giving my family one password, which they should save as an SOS password in their personal password manager. In the directory I place an usb stick with an encrypted password manager file. This can decrypted by the SOS password. This file contains only a few password, to unlock my laptop and my personal password managers.

A secret place for this usb is also a variant. The documents can then contains some hints to the location, that help the family to find this storage.

It’s know you turn!

Perhaps this article will also help you to find a strategy to support your survivor in an emergency. I also think that people who don’t work in IT should create a folder like this. After all, private issues such as insurance, bank accounts etc. exist independently of work