29 March 2014

In a dead man's shoes

'Lawyer allegedly used dead man's MCC member card' by Louise Hall in today's SMH reports that
A Sydney lawyer allegedly caught using the identity of a dead client to access the prized Members Reserve at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during AFL grand finals could be struck off the roll of solicitors.
Denis Manning Anderson was escorted from the stadium after security officers intercepted him using the membership card of Michael Alfred Starkey - who died almost 15 years earlier - at last year's match. 
It would appear that the 78 year old Anderson, described as a criminal law specialist, may have been using the deceased member's identity - with a yearly subscription fee of up to $625 - for much of the 15 year period.

The SMH comments that "Membership of the Melbourne Cricket Club is notoriously difficult to earn. There are about 233,000 people on the waiting list". Membership is  nontransferable.
 MCC spokesman Shane Brown said the club received a tip-off that a man was "using a membership card of a deceased person".
"After an investigation, the club intercepted the individual attempting to access the MCC Members Reserve at the 2013 AFL grand final", he said.
"The membership was subsequently cancelled and the individual was escorted from the stadium". ...
MCC full members are entitled to use the MCG Members Reserve without charge for all domestic and international cricket matches including the Boxing Day test and all AFL fixtures, including the grand final. Entrance to the members dining room, entertaining guests and reciprocal rights at clubs around the world are some of the perks.
The NYT meanwhile reports on 'end of life services', which allow you to plan "life’s last big event in the same way you might plan a wedding or another major occasion".

Everplan for example "walks users through what an end-of-life and estate plan should include, provides a place to store everything and goes as far as offering reviews on funeral homes and nearby restaurants. It will also handle the invitation" but apparently not "sending emails from the grave".

The Times comments
The next obvious question: How secure are these sites, particularly when storing so much personal information — even passwords — in one place? Most of these services advertise bank-level security and include other talk about encryption, which doesn’t mean much to most people.
In fact, Bruce Schneier, a well-known computer security expert, said a lot of hacking had nothing to do with encryption. You ultimately have to trust the company, he said, because somebody, somewhere, probably has access to the decryption keys.
Mr. Schneier said he would like to see some type of legal fiduciary responsibility. If the company makes a mistake, he asked, who is at fault? That’s a good question to keep in mind if you’re considering using these services.
An Everplan account
serves as a repository for just about everything: financial accounts and legal documents; where to find your Social Security card and life insurance policy; how to close the cable television account, to name but a few. There’s also room to share life lessons or an explanation of why your will was written a certain way. If you already have a contract with a funeral home or crematorium, you can upload that, too. How and when do your loved ones get access? You assign specific “deputies” for your plan, so they can find everything neatly in one place. Much of the site is free, but if you want to upload documents and have more than one deputy, the service costs $35 annually.
As you fill out your checklist, you’ll also notice a couple of “preferred providers,” including Integrity Life Solutions, an insurance and annuity firm, and Rapidocs, which helps you create legal documents, including wills, online. ... Right now, the co-creators said they weren’t getting paid for referring you to these companies, but it’s possible they might in the future.
The co-founders promise that, even if the company is sold in the future, they are working on a system that would allow people to gain access to their plans for at least the next 50 years.
Competitor Principled Heart requires three people  to validate the account owner’s death, with the site (US$45 per year for up to one gigabyte of storage) then providing access to the information.

begins by asking you to name three verifiers ... the people who will be notified in the event of your death and will get access to all the information stored on the site (either now or a time you specify later). After you enter basic personal details, it asks who should be contacted by the verifiers after you die. ... Like the other sites, it provides a spot for other legal forms. You can also store passwords and instructions for digital accounts, upload photos and share wishes for your funeral arrangements, among other things. The site requires a credit card at sign-up — it costs $60 a year or $299 for life — but there is a free 14-day trial period.