I worked in a bank and I read the obits every day, hoping to see my
boss's name there.
If you have important info on your computer, backing it up onto CD or
DVD and storing the disks off-site in a safety deposit box is a good
idea in case of fire, flood, tornado, burglary, etc. Or you could just
leave the disks at your office, in your gym locker, at a friend's
If the banks do read the obits, how do they know it's their customer?
Don't people named John Smith die every day?
I have seen family members raid their parents home before the funerals
to glom onto every little thing they wanted for themselves. I have also
seen my own family be entirely open, selfless and generous in taking
care of our parents' estates. Another person, at his death, had a list
in his wallet of all the financial assistance given to his children
forever....I made a decision that day that if my kids ever needed money,
and I was able and willing to help them, there would be no loans. If I
could afford to lose it, a chance with a loan, I could afford to give it
and there would be no more to the issue to poison our relationship like
"owing" money. If a kid asked for money and I could not or would not
help, there would also be a fair and reasoned discussion...might be the
reason all of my kids can have differences, tension, and then discuss
them and get it settled and still love each other.
On 3/3/2011 8:26 AM, email@example.com wrote:
I'll second that. I don't have kids, but I do have underemployed
siblings, and a kid sister that hit college age at a time when our
parents happened to be broke. A year after she graduated, she asked
about when I expected her to repay me, and I told her that I hadn't kept
track, but it was now her turn when the next generation hit college age.
That is what money is for, isn't it? Taking care of your own?
On Thu, 03 Mar 2011 08:26:03 -0500, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
My mother asked each one of us what furniture and "stuff" we wanted of hers
and burned in our names and the date it was "given" on the back. There were
no arguments when she died.
When my MIL died, her step kids made asses of themselves. One stole a rocking
char that my wife had explicitly said she wanted. We told them to take
anything they wanted of their father's, and we sold the most of the rest. They
were pissed that they got no money. There wasn't any (maybe $5K at the end).
They blew it all.
I have no problems with loans. If it's not paid back, fine. If it is, there
is that much more than can be put to other good uses. Dependence isn't a good
On-line backup is only as secure as the company's financial situation
allows them to be- although admittedly unless they go broke right
around the time you need your data you have time to replace them. From
what I read in the NY Times, though, it takes a long time for an
initial backup if you have, say, 1 tb of video files. Time as in
months and months with a DSL connection.
But if your house burns down and thus your internet connection's also
gone, let's say you move to a new apt and buy a computer. How long
will it take to get a new internet connection and then download all of
your data? I'd prefer to have it all on DVDs. Worst case I pay a HS
kid to spend a day swapping disks to recover my data, assuming I left
the disks elsewhere (as I do).
CDs and DVDs are almost free. You'd need two USB hard drives to have a
continuous backup off-site.
I mostly work on the same files so incremental backup on a weekly
basis is quick and easy. Though I have thought of getting a second
external hard drive and just swapping them back and forth as backups.
CDs and DVDs have lifespans, sometimes a lot shorter than one would expect.
With the larger hd's now at very reasonable prices, that's a good way to go.
sheesh, we can get flash drives these days bigger than the hard drives on
our old computers in the nineties.
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Download the book $10
Flash drives have lifetimes, too. Their lifetimes are based on usage, not
bit rot. Depending on the dye and the CD-drive, a CD can last decades or
more (or only a few weeks). A Flash Drive is good for at least a few
thousand read-write cycles.
Plus, you can get 16GB micro-mini-SDHC/DX cards
for $32 or less now and a form factor much smaller than a postage stamp and
thinner than a dime. $2 a GB for something that takes essentially no space
in a safety deposit box and is random access and direct-readable, to boot.
According to wikiP they are 11.0mm by 15.0mm by 1.0mm thick with a volume
of 165sq mm and a mass of 0.27 grams. The standard supports 2TB - we'll
see. Right now, 16GB is enough. First started seeing them in cellphones
and video pen recorders, now they're everywhere. Not sure if they're all
the same - the ones I get are labeled Transflash or TF. For a guy who used
to work with 5MB Bernoulli carts, the idea that I can fit 3 million
Bernoulli disk's (about 8 x 12 x 1") worth of data on something you could
hide between two quarters is pretty amazing. In a year or two I might even
deem them reliable, but it's too early to tell. So far, no bit errors when
The real problem with typical offsite backups is that you've got a bootable
image for a burned up machine. That sometimes turns into a royal panic
hunting for a machine to restore to when you've got to recover data quickly.
Data and programs are horribly intermingled in typical systems and then the
OS ties that all to the particular hardware it is running on. So a backup
Ghost type image made on one machine usually won't boot on machine with even
a modest configuration change. Things get even dicier when the client is
two or three versions behind the latest software version. Ebay has been a
godsend for many, allowing them to scarf up exactly the same machine they
used to have for a decent discount. Of course, that's all most policies
will give them for the dead machines, so it's still a hassle.
If only gas mileage, 401K income or solar panel efficiency matched the gains
in memory capacity in the last few decades. A 2 TB hard disk costs $100
these days. I remember paying $600 for one of the early 20MB drives. It
would take 1000 of them to equal 2TB (I think!) - that would be $600,000 in
Not An Option, sadly. Company (the Feds) machine. I only still have
admin rights on it because they forgot about me, but when I get issued a
replacement sometime this year, it will be locked down hard.
I cannot imagine needing $6000 in lawyer costs unless it was a huge or
complicated estate. Or a shady lawyer taking advantage of a situation.
Maybe we've just been lucky, but neither my wife no my family has never
argued over what little estate there was amongst parents. I guess modest
means has some advantages.
Lawyer fees are typically 3% of the value of the estate. Typically your
estate is going to pay that and more if you use a lawyer who has a
Saturday morning show on TV and his picture on buses telling you how
they are going to "help you".
They close the deal by charging a really small fee for their "advice" in
creating a complicated will that insures lots of work for them. Since
lots of people shop on price they think they just got a super deal.
This isn't unusual and just happened in the case of my sister in laws
mothers' estate. She said the mother was impressed she was only charged
$50 by the guy who has his picture on every bus and billboard.
Her mother passed on and it took almost a year to address the details of
a small estate because of the way the lawyer crafted the will. After six
months she called to ask the status and there was a line item on his
$8,000 bill for that "phone consultation".
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