lastpass emergency access feature

LastPass Emergency Access Feature (ICE)

This week, we’re going to talk about using LastPass’ Emergency Access feature. Using this feature allows a trusted person to ask for and after a waiting period, get access to our passwords in the event we can not. This gives our family member(s) the ability to log in to pay bills, find accounts for insurance, etc. to handle our estate.

I use LastPass to manage my digital life and I use it for my business to manage all the various accounts I set up for my clients. I recalled some kind of Emergency Access feature, so I went to investigate that.lastpass logo

LastPass Emergency Access

The LastPass Emergency feature is handled all on-line, i.e. there’s no need to download a pdf and write things out. Here are the steps:

  • Your recipient will need a LastPass account. If the person you choose doesn’t have one, the invitation will explain this to them and give some instructions on how to set it up. Of course, you will have talked to the person in advance!
  • You’ll need to logon to your account from a browser and look for the rescue icon at the lower left and click to get started.
  • Input your chosen person’s, email address and the wait time (see the images below from LastPass).
  • Your recipient will get both an email notification and they will see a notification on the Emergency Access icon when they are logged in on-line.
  • They simply click on the notification and decide whether or not to accept it. It should be noted they can decide to decline the invitation.

It’s that simple.

Requesting Emergency Access

I just set up Last Pass emergency access with my husband and wanted to check it out. The experience was very reassuring to me. I wanted to test it out before writing about it to let you know my thoughts on safety and reliability.

When I asked my husband to request access (I had set up a 48-hour waiting period), I was flooded by reminder emails letting me know access had been requested and the time I had set and if I did nothing to stop things, then that person would be granted access. By flooded, I mean I was getting 4-5 emails a day!

lastpass setup for emergency access
Showing people you’ve invited to be a trusted emergency contact (image from LastPass website)

Handling LastPass Emergency Access Requests

Since this was a test with my husband, all I needed to do was to log in, click on the emergency access icon and decline the request. That’s it – it’s a one-time thing and this event was finished.

lastpass deny access
Here’s the the deny access looks like

instructions for accepting emergency access with lastpass
the acceptance screen for emergency access (image from LastPass website)

Use LastPass Emergency Feature as a Password Recovery Tool

Have you ever forgotten your main password to access your LastPass vault? Well, my husband did! There are a few things you can do if you forget your password to recover it, but LastPass does not know it and there is no way they can give it to you.

Set up LastPass’ emergency access feature to be able to get into your account and then you can reset your login password. This will save your digital hide!

Do You Have A Plan For Your Digital Assets?

In this digital lifestyle with on-line accounts for our banking, bills, investments, insurance, social media and more, it’s essential to be able to keep records of our assets and other digital info. When making out our wills, trusts and estate plans, one of the key pieces you’ll need is a list of your assets.

If you’re not quite ready to see an attorney or financial planner yet, you can still get a good start by getting a free planner. I’ve seen these planners offered for free at funeral homes (Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, OK has these available for free, just use their contact form), and by financial bloggers. These can be booklets or a pdf you can download and fill out.

I’ve been listening for about 6 months now to Roger Whitney’s podcast over at The Retirement Answer Man. I signed up to get his weekly “6-Shot Saturday” email and a few weeks ago, he had a link to a planner. This was a pretty comprehensive planner that included blanks to fill out all kinds of accounts – not just banking, mortgage, etc. but also social media accounts. If you sign up, I’ll bet he’d be happy to send you the link to the planner.

This is a great starting document for many of us, but for those of us who add/remove and change our accounts and passwords, it would be out of date nearly instantly. That’s why I thought of LastPass and their Emergency Access feature.

Other Password Keeper Emergency Access Features

Here are some other password managers I looked into for you:

  • 1Password offers a downloadable pdf document that you fill out and put in a secure place. This is a good solution for those who are not as computer/technology savvy. Disadvantage would be the possibility of losing it, forgetting where you put it or changing your master password.
  • Keepass – I did not see an emergency access feature. This is an open source project, so it could be added later. Keepass is free.
  • Roboform – I didn’t see an emergency access feature, they do have a sharing feature. Cost – $20/year
  • LastPass – thought I’d add the cost of it. Free for basic accounts (I set one up for free for my husband.) I pay $12/year for premium, which adds family sharing and priority support.
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