An earlier post from Brighter Life asked Can you imagine what would happen if you died and your beneficiaries didn’t know where to find your will? Or your money?
That’s a much feared.. What If Scenario ..dying unprepared, without your beneficiaries knowing where to find your will or your money…Unfortunately, that kind of scenario happens far too frequently, leaving loved ones and beneficiaries with additional stress, grief and expense often.
The article quoted well-known financial advisor Jim Yih, author of the personal finance blog, retirehappyblog.ca
“You really love your family and friends, so take the time to get your estate organized so you don’t leave them with a big mess to sort through during such an emotional time “
The article pointed out the following 12 key documents which should be safely stored together in a place where they can easily be found:
- Your will: Outlining who gets what when you die and appointing guardians for minor children. Dying without a will, may lead to a family disaster with assets being divided according to provincial law & minor children ending up with the guardian that you may not approve of.
- A living will: Outlining treatment should you be unable to make decisions about your own health (like receiving life-sustaining treatments).
- A power of attorney: Providing someone you trust with the power to make financial decisions for you in the event you’re no longer able to do so, as opposed to the Courts deciding upon who that guardian should be.
- Proof of ownership: All of those documents that relate to important assets like your house, land, vehicles, stocks and any other assets.
- 6 years of tax returns: Providing your executor a sense of the assets and finances that are part of your estate.
- A list of bank accounts and safety deposit boxes: To avoid the risk of your bank accounts being added to the 1.3 million accounts that make up $465 Million in the Bank of Canada,
- Stock certificates and savings bonds: Investment account statements and & any actual stock certificates
- Pension, retirement and annuity documents: Without these documents, your family may be unable to determine what remains of your retirement benefits that they may be eligible to receive.
- Insurance policies: All insurance-related documents are vital for claiming insurance benefits. At this point in time in Canada particularly, no one is going to look for beneficiaries even if the policy owner might be 125 years old
- A list of your debts and loans: Another list that will help ensure family won’t end up with unwanted or nasty surprises down the road
- Marriage licence and/or divorce papers: Legal proof of marriage and divorce can make it easier for the executor of your estate and for your family.
- Your user names and passwords: Digital assets relating to social media and online accounts are now critically important to most estates.
LegacyTracker includes comprehensive but flexible templates to take care of this chore and includes all of the above documents plus quite a few more. Life is Busy. Our mission is to help you better simplify, safeguard & share your important details for the benefit of you and your loved ones.
Learn more by contacting us