Accessibility of account information in case of demise
The other day, DW and I got on a plane and I wondered, "What would happen if this crashed?". We have two kids in college who rely on us for bills to get paid, and from what others have told us, if you die as a French resident, it takes *ages* for the paperwork, wills, etc to get sorted out. In the meantime, accounts get frozen. Children who are minors get taken care of, but adult survivors can be royally screwed.
My solution has been to write up a paper explaining to the kids how to get at those of our investments which are either liquid, or liquidatable on-line. This should enable them to get, say, a couple of years' worth of their expenses out of the system and into their accounts, before everything gets frozen. All the passwords are coded, with "family knowledge" required to decode them. (This will also be useful if it's just me who keels over tomorrow - DW often complains that she doesn't know how our finances work, but she's never taken up my offer to show her, in detail, what to do for each of the accounts.)
I was wondering what others may have done about this issue.
Age 55, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 59 and working for 4 more years. Current portfolio is 1950K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.