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View Full Version : RIP: Me! and my Sites?!?



MrGeeK
03-03-2006, 04:01 PM
No, Iím not writing this from beyond the grave, recently I have been doing a bit of thinking on what would happen if I died, not that I plan to die, but you never know.

I have a young family and my online earnings are starting to become a serious part of our income. My partner knows what I do, but she doesnít know all the nitty gritty, to be perfectly honest she is not that interested (except for the money each month).

Some of my sites are automated, they would continue to operate for sometime before my absense became a problem. Other sites are quite time resource intensive at present.

But, I donít have a clear list of instructions on what needs to be done for each site, or a list of what bills need to be paid each month.

My partner could work this out from my set of accounts, but lets be honest here. She is not going to be up to sorting through all of that for sometime, so to ensure that my sites can continue to generate revenue for as long as possible I need to create some documentation about them.

At this point Iím thinking I need to include:

* What sites I own
* Servers Details
* Instructions on operating each site
* Ad Revenue/Account Details
* Value of the site - Reviewed quarterly
* Monthly Expenses
* List of suggested People to assist in operation/sale of sites
* Site License Details: Software used etc
* Recommend Retain/Sell for each site
* Unique Information for each site
* Account Details for Everything (eg Adsense, Fastclick, GoDaddy, etc)

There are probably a few other things as well, but that is all that comes to mind at this time.

Of course the most important thing is to ensure the information is found fairly quickly, so Iím thinking 2 copies stored at home (paper & offline digital), 1 copy with my accountant, and 1 copy with my solicitor (lawyer for Americans).

What do you think? Have I missed something?

(FYI: This is a cut and paste of a recent blog entry)

KLB
03-03-2006, 04:04 PM
One thing that I think is important is to get a fire proof safe that is bolted down to a secure location and keep a sealed envelope in it that contains all of the important passwords accounts etc. By keeping the envelop sealed you'll know if the passwords were tampered with, but you give your spouse that emergency key to the castle should something happen. Otherwise you could keep this stuff in a safety deposit box such that nobody could get to it but you unless something happened to you.

dc dalton
03-03-2006, 04:07 PM
I've been thinking about the same thing myself (glad it's not just me)

Looks like you have this list pretty well down, what I am thinking of doing is also putting together a list of people I know and trust who could help her keep running the sites.

Nobody wants to think about this kind of stuff but we all know you could be gone tomorrow. I can't think of anything that would make things worse (on top of dying that is) than not having all the business info available so your mate can try to pick up the pieces.

Us "old farts" think about this a lot ... just upped my life insurance too!

KLB
03-03-2006, 04:10 PM
The thing is with our business sometimes its necessary to keep things close to one's chest and we all know its never a good idea to share passwords with anyone. However, having documentation, instructions and passwords secured in a fashion that can be retrieved only if something happened is a good idea.

MrGeeK
03-03-2006, 04:14 PM
I'm not worried too much about a fire proof safe, thats why there are copies at 3 locations, and the trusted people to help run/sell the sites is already in my list.

I still consider my self young, but in comparison to a lot of people here I'm guessing I am old (38)

Chris
03-03-2006, 04:19 PM
I have a list similar to yours, but it sorely needs updating. Specifically my contact these people to help list (since the people are at SitePoint).

Its really important for me too since it IS our sole source of income. Plus there is a lot of value there. I was offered a quarter million for my literature site last year (turned it down).

KLB
03-03-2006, 04:28 PM
Dude, I'd probably turn down a cool million for my environmental chemistry site. It would be too much like selling a part of my soul or selling a child.

Westech
03-03-2006, 04:33 PM
There's a previous thread about this where you might find some useful info: http://www.websitepublisher.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3807 .

My problem is that no matter how much documentation I leave behind, I think that my wife and everyone she knows would still have a hard time sorting things out. This business requires an extremely specialized set of knowledge and skills.

The more I think about this topic, the more I'm convinced that the answer is to pair up with another publisher and be "death buddies." Someone who you can trust 100% and who is knowledeable enough about sites, servers, ad networks, domains, etc. to step in and help your family with selling or otherwise handling your sites if the worst happens.

You and your buddy could each leave documentation and contact info in a safe deposit box and give instructions to your family to send the documentation to your buddy upon your death.

EDIT: You guys covered most of my points while I was typing this post!

Elvie
03-03-2006, 05:08 PM
Westech - good thought with the "death buddies" plan! I always debate taking the time to document my online business, but I never have as I couldn't think of anyone in my family who know what to do with the information.

ses5909
03-03-2006, 06:31 PM
I definitely like the idea of having people your spouse or partner could call to get help. Great thread.

dc dalton
03-03-2006, 06:38 PM
I definitely like the idea of having people your spouse or partner could call to get help. Great thread.

Yeah my wife works with me (see does all the site updates for our clients) and she knows how to do html, css and that stuff plus she can do some minor db stuff but if it came to running our hosting company or the other stuff she would be lost.

I have two friends that I would trust with my life and that program and do server admin. They both know (and my wife knows) that in case something were to happen to me they will be the two she will come to. Knowing she can count on these people takes a load off my mind.

ses5909
03-03-2006, 06:44 PM
I have two friends that I would trust with my life and that program and do server admin. They both know (and my wife knows) that in case something were to happen to me they will be the two she will come to. Knowing she can count on these people takes a load off my mind.

I do have someone I could trust with all of that; I just never really put too much thought into it.

It was hard enough to do our wills and increase our life insurance when my husband went to Iraq last year; but its definitely something that should be done. Thanks for putting the idea in my head.

Ben
03-03-2006, 06:49 PM
I am a far, far, far way away from dieing, that is for sure. But I definately know that if I did, that would be it. Nobody could take care of the sites, let alone get somebody else (knowledgable) in that area. So basically, death would mean death to my sites

dc dalton
03-03-2006, 10:28 PM
I do have someone I could trust with all of that; I just never really put too much thought into it.

It was hard enough to do our wills and increase our life insurance when my husband went to Iraq last year; but its definitely something that should be done. Thanks for putting the idea in my head.

BTW, Sara .... I'm assuming he is home safely?

Chris
03-03-2006, 10:29 PM
Anyone think there is potential for a service here? I think there are privacy issues involved... but there already some "dead man's switch" services out there I know.

Erin
03-04-2006, 12:10 AM
Jeeze... I recently suffered a loss (http://www.erinbilly.com/blog/a-eulogy/) that caused me to think seriously about all of these things. The guy was only 38. :(

I've talked to a lawyer. I don't want to take any chances with those left behind, especially those who don't realize how valuable certain web properties can be.

MrGeeK
03-04-2006, 01:29 AM
Anyone think there is potential for a service here? I think there are privacy issues involved... but there already some "dead man's switch" services out there I know.

I'd certainly consider using such a service if I could be sure about it, and the cost was acceptable.