This article has been developed from talks given by Frances S. Lennie at ASI, ANZSI, and SI conferences during 2015. The catalyst was a presentation by Judith Cannon and Jenny Wood (‘Empty chair: succession planning for indexers’) at the ANZSI ACT/NSW regional conference in August 2014. The adage that indexers never die but simply fade away – literally or metaphorically – begs the question about what happens to our ongoing indexes (revision, serial, and cumulative) and the potential impact on clients. A career based on closely built relationships need not be finite: with some forethought it can be extended indefinitely. This article looks at ways to pass the baton gracefully to your successor with minimum disruption to the indexing and publication process.