Passcode Cheat Sheet

An easy way to capture and manage the list of growing online accounts is to use a cheat sheet where you list all of your usernames and passcodes. Feel free to use this Excel worksheet to create a system that works for your needs.


  1. Store this on a thumb drive, not on your hard drive or in the cloud,  unless you plan on encrypting the file. Please know that encrypting your file may prevent you from getting back to it.
  2. Print out a copy and keep it near your computer for easy access and updates.
  3. Tell someone you trust where this information is located.

Here is the MemoryBanc Passcode Cheat Sheet: MBPasscodeCheatSheet

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Slide1This 6-minute video will walk you through why it’s important that you document this information and how to use your MemoryBanc Register to capture your personal information so that you can easily find it and a loved one could access the accounts should they ever need to step in and act on your behalf.

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Life Planning Education Series: Getting your Personal and Financial Usernames and Documents Organized

A fire, hurricane or tornado can steal away your important documents and details in the blink of an eye. A disability, if only temporary, can require family and friends to step in and help. Organizing and protecting your usernames and managing a wide range of personal information is now a necessity of our daily living. Join us to take control of your personal and financial accounts and documents.

In this workshop, attendees will:

  • Learn which passcodes and documents to organize and protect;
  • Understand which legal tools are needed to protect you and your assets;
  • Leave with key information organized and protected.

Every registrant receives the JumpStart Edition of a MemoryBanc Register workbook or ebook* (a $39.95 value) that guides users through the collection and preservation of this important information.

Pick the date and location that works best for you.

Monday, September 9, 2013   REGISTER
5:30 – 7:30 PM ~ Arlington, VA

Saturday, September 21, 2013    REGISTER
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ~ Reston, VA

Wednesday, September 25, 2013   REGISTER
6:00 – 8:00 PM ~ Bethesda, MD

MemoryBanc Register Owners: $18.00 
Individuals $55.00; Couples $60.00 *Registration includes one MemoryBanc Register.

Want to host a Life Planning Event? Contact Kay Bransford at 703.436.2827


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About a Durable Power of Attorney

Many estate lawyers can create a Durable Power of Attorney for you. In the D.C. metro area, it can cost as little as about $250. I asked a local attorney, Lori K. Murphy, to answer a few questions.

Q: Why is a Durable Power of Attorney important for me as a small business owner?
A: A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to name an agent to take care of your personal financial and administrative matters. You may also name a business agent to take care of your business affairs, such as accounts receivable, and deciding whether to continue or wind down your business.  There are separate powers of attorney that specifically address professional and confidential business fields such as CPAs or attorneys.

Q: Could you help me understand why I would need a Durable Power of Attorney if I’m married? Whom should I consider? 
A: Unless every asset is held jointly, your spouse does not have access to your financial records automatically. This is the document that allows the spouse to attend to assets titled in your individual name. Additionally, if your spouse is unavailable or incapacitated, then you have the opportunity to name a back-up agent to serve this role. Common successor agents are adult children, either individually or as co-agents.

Q: Several financial institutions and insurance agencies have told me they would not accept my Power of Attorney (for my parents) if it’s older than two years old. Can they do that?
A: It depends. There is certain language that needs to be included in the document to entice the third party to accept the power of attorney, due to the Power of Attorney Act, which became effective on July 1, 2010. That said, the Act requires the institution to accept a properly executed power of attorney (with some exceptions) within seven days after it is presented for acceptance. In fact, an institution that refuses to accept a properly executed power of attorney (absent exceptions) is liable for reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in requiring the institution to accept the power of attorney. For this issue alone, it is worth seeking the review of an existing power of attorney by counsel.

Click here for a detailed explanation of the General Durable Power of Attorney.

Lori K. Murphy Esq. is a shareholder in the Arlington, Va., law firm of Bean, Kinney & Korman P.C. and  practices in the areas of estate planning and estate planning administration.  She can be reached at 703.525.4000 or at

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Are you a Giver or a Taker?

I have revisited this question in my personal life over the last three decades—as I’m evaluating others and as I’m taking a close look at myself—to determine in which group I belong. I remember marveling at how much I seemed to soften after my son was born, but even that was nothing compared to the change I’ve seen in myself as I have transitioned to being the primary caregiver for my parents. In both instances, I think of myself as a giver.

But I’ve realized over the years that so much of what we do to manage our lives and our modern-day habits has unintentionally turned many of us into takers. Our need for independence and privacy, mixed with our desire to keep our online “lives” secure, means that many of us are unwilling to share information that would allow someone else to step in and help us if we needed it, even temporarily. By making it so difficult for those around us to help—and by refusing to acknowledge that we may need their help—we become takers.

Let me use three recent examples from new clients to illustrate my point:

  • A single woman in her 30s and a small business owner has a car accident. Her partner can’t access her email or voicemail because she did not share usernames and passcodes, making it difficult to run the business in her absence. Her friends have to beg the apartment owner for a key to her home so they can get in to feed her cat while she’s in the hospital.
  • A married man in his 60s has a stroke. His wife has never managed their checking account, nor has she ever paid a bill. Their daughter lives nearby and can help mom navigate the online banking and payment services while her dad recuperates.
  • A married woman in her 40s and the mother of two has a heart attack. She did not share the username or passcode to the family’s online bill paying sites, so her husband has to patiently wait for the final bill notices to be mailed in order to pay many of their accounts. Thankfully, her friend knew the name of the family’s pediatrician, so the husband wasn’t worried about caring for the kids’ needs as their mother recovered.

Could any of these scenarios happen to you? When you are the one who steps in to assist someone else in need, you realize very quickly that the lack of documentation and planning has created a very large burden for you. But it seems many of us are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We should all document and share the location of our username and passcodes to our online bill pay accounts, as well as our primary email accounts. View this as a simple life maintenance task – just as you would get your teeth cleaned or get an annual physical.

Not sure where to start? I’ve made the process easy for my clients through my MemoryBanc Register, which will lead you step-by-step through the entire documentation process. I also recommend  speaking with an estate lawyer to get a durable power of attorney for your small business if you own one, and for your family and friends, so that they can step in and help should you need it.

We are more likely to have a temporary disability than we are to die up through our late 80s. To find out your Personal Disability Quotient, visit this site:

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