Estate planning

Have any of your other older folks like me adopted any plans if you drop dead before your wife.
She would be lost trying to troubleshoot and maintain the automations..

I've talked to my wife about it and if anything stops working where it is causing issues for her I showed her how to shutdown the hub and disconnect it. Everything I've put in still functions via the normal switches or whatever without the hub.


all but 3 of mine also work via the switch.. i am going to have to start going through stuff with the wife as well. but like exclusion if something dies varies by device,, 1 press , 3 presses, etc.


I think that really depends on the technical abilities of your spouse. I've found that it's easier to show my kids and provide them written directions than put it on her.


I actually started with HE to give my wife better lighting control via voice commands and to simplify some our -then- hardwired, old-time 'smarthome' controls (water heater timers). From the git-go years ago, everything was set up to work with normal switches as the default or override. I continued that requirement with HE.

The big challenge was 3-way switches. I did not want to change the wiring of the traveler. And my house is brim-full of 3- and 4-way switches. Luckily, the electrical layout was such that the areas using multiple switches also had good places to hide surface-mounted Third Reality switches. They work fine with HE and Alexa.

So, while she'd miss many of the conveniences HE affords us, she wouldn't have to have it (or any SH hub) to have everything to continue working.

SH devices and altered wiring were also a concern if she were to sell the house. With the current set-up, it'd take maybe 2-3 hours to replace the Jasco switches with their Decora equivalents and could be done by any jack-leg electrician.

This was the main reason I went with all of the same brand of switch throughout the house. There are 3 exceptions though in the kids bedroom they use smart bulbs so I had to use some Innovelli switches to disable local load control and in the kitchen I used an Innovelli for the LED notifications for the alarm system. I have a box of the decora switches in the garage for them to replace those with though if I kick the bucket.


Same here. My house was done in Ivory toggle switches and receptacles back in the day, so I had cases of Ivory Decora devices and plates put away for the future ....which is now here.

There's also a 2 million dollar life insurance policy, my 401k and, pension she can just hire someone to do the work too I guess.


I've worked really hard to not have anything that would not work if I'm not here. Everything can be controlled as it was originally either from a wall switch or from the switch on the lamp. So my passing will be a non-issue. :wink:

1 Like

My (very much younger :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ) wife has already made it clear the whole lot will be ripped out the day I die. The bloody kids of today, honestly.


I meant to note, what is much more complex than our HE/smart home stuff, and much more important to my family in general, is our network setup. I have the Edgerouter 12, five managed switches, an AP (and may add another after our remodel), two NAS, four UPS, and run VLANs, a VPN, and an ad-blocker on the router, two RPi's run the Unifi AP controller and UNMS, and some other junk.

I have documented my network setup in pretty heavy detail, all PWs are in our safe deposit box, and I have identified a network-experienced friend who my wife/sons could call in the event of my untimely demise to help them.

Keeping the basic home network running smoothly would be way more important to them than any smart hom automation. If I f'ed that up, my wife would dig me up to yell at me. :wink:


A solid reason for why cremation is preferred :grin:


This issue led me to make some decisions such as the type of alarm we used, and who would maintain it if I croaked first. I had installed my own Elk alarm system (some of you will know of them) in our two previous homes, and had had no issues over 15 years. It just merrily worked, talking with my automation equipment (an ISY and Homeseer in those homes, pre-HE) and just doing its job. But, given the issue of future proofing things for my wife should I drop dead, I decided to have the local alarm company install a new DSC system when we moved permanently into our vacation home (accelerated by COVID and a desire to flee the $*#@ suburbs), ripping out a perfectly good Napco that wouldn't "talk to" my automation equipment. What a mistake! The system has been nothing but a headache, and is currently down again, requiring a service call. I haven't even had a chance to get the Envisalink talking to the HE, because the system itself has been unreliable.

Anyway, just a precautionary tale that sometimes our efforts to "improve" things with the goal of making things beer for our spouses don't end as intended. I'm not convinced these installers know beans from Shinola, and I'm thinking of firing them and hiring the only other company that serves this rural area. Or maybe I'll just put in an Elk and get another couple of decades of no issues...

1 Like

not to be sexist if there are any women who are the primary tinkerer with the same issue you are obviously also welcome to post.. Just not as common.

I haven't delt with DSC except helping people get their Envisalink 4's connected, but I've been using the Honeywell Vista's forever and I've never had an issue other than a failed sensor that I was able to replace in a few minutes.

1 Like

If you're thinking of replacing your current system, take a look at the Qolsys IQ2 or IQ2+. It's pretty highly rated and I've never had a single problem with it. Just bought another one for our rental property, to replace a perfectly functioning Simon XTi.

You don't need a security company (other than for monitoring). If you can deal with home automation, you're smart enough to install this stuff yourself.

Dear lord, are you running a satellite office for the Pentagon or something? Five switches?

I know, sounds crazy, right?

  1. In family room corner next to couch where I sit. So I can add new Eth devices to my network and play w/them conveniently, and also have two RPi's sitting next to me under a corner table eth connected, as I find RPI wi-fi to be flaky.
  2. In entertainment center to feed ethernet to TV, ST hub, ShieldTV, a camera, a Roku, and my Wi-Fi AP. (Due to issues w/where I had Ethenet leads available in the attic, in order to feed a ceiling mount for my AP I had to connect it to an ethernet run starting from the entertainment center).
  3. Office next to router to feed other switches and two NAS, wife's work computer.
  4. Other side of the office to feed HE, Lutron, and two workstations.

Oops! Just four, not five! :slight_smile: I miscounted. See, simpler than I thought! :wink:

Oh, I know I can install a system. I installed an Elk M1G, twice, in previous homes. The issue is that I wanted my wife to have an installer/service person she could call if I weren't in the picture. The problem is that they appear to be less skilled than me!

I think the potential problems will arise when my wife is pretty sure she doesn't need me... :wink: