For the Record. (database management system) (evaluation)
by Charles Idol
As you prepare to travel, do you ever stop to worry about the problems your beneficiaries would face if something bad should happen to you? Would they know whom to notify? What your holding are? Where the records are kept? Is all this information written out for them, and do they know where they can find it? Are you sure?
Keeping such records is not a small task and requires updating from time to time. Many people figure that nothing sudden will happen, and if it should, the family knows where everything is. Maybe. If you would rather be sure, the Nolo Press program For the Record 2.0 will make the task a great deal easier and probably remind you of many items you might have overlooked.
The program is entirely menu driven, and the main menu lists 27 categories, ranging from emergency information through sources of income, securities, real estate, insurance, tax records, credit cards, personal documents, and personal information to grim matters such as funeral arrangements and will and estate matters. Each of these categories has subcategories, with 225 subcategories in all, which gives you some idea of the depth of the program.
To help you navigate the menu, the program provides mouse support. Whenever you select a subcategory, you bring up a screen specific to the subject, and you are prompted for entry of relevant data. Aware that you may wish to include more extensive information on the form, Nolo Press has provides for individual notes to the record.
Nolo Press is well known for books and programs on legal matters, and the manual of For the Record is typical of what we have come to expect. Written clearly, it provides a wealth of background information and advice on the subject matter covered, in addition to guiding you through the program.
Don't be misled. Even with the aid of For the Record, you may find the taks of personal documentation burdensome. The program cannot provide the data; that's up to you. It took me several days to fill out my own record, possibly because I found that I didn't remeber everything needed. The consolation is that without For the Record I might never have gotten around to an essential chore.