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Estate Planning Made Simple

Personal estate organizing starts at the time we become an adult. Even if you think you have nothing of value there is still the question of your final wishes. Even if you think you have nothing there is still your bank account or your possible employment benefits etc.

We all know there is no escaping death, however we believe it will never happen to us. When we hear of a famous person’s demise we are usually in disbelief thinking that somehow they are exempt from death. And when it is a person close to us we go into shock, grief and sadness.

This is all real but somehow feels surreal.

Talking about death and dying does not mean it will come sooner. So why is it that we avoid the topic?

There are so many easy ways to be organized for your passing. This in turn will lessen the burden on your friends and family.

Imagine transitioning with grace.

Check out this short video on estate planning made simple and then read on for the Getting It Togethers Top 5 Tips.

Tip 1: Have a secure place for all of your digital passwords. Even if you use an online service like www.onepassword.com your loved ones still need to know how to get into that site.

Keep a copy in your safety deposit box.

Survivors need access to

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Social media accounts
  • Home alarm with instructions on how to work it and the pass code.
  • Hidden spare keys and list of people who might have spare key to your home or vacation property.
  • Bank Accounts
  • Online accounts like banking, direct deposits, PayPal etc

Tip 2: Our stuff is less important to others. Are you saving stuff for your grown children? Do you even know if they want it or not?

I have heard of people having a family dinner where each person can claim certain heirlooms by placing a sticker on the bottom of the item with their name on it.

Or you might have special pieces of jewelry that you want to go to certain people which you will make note of in your will.

More has lost its appeal.

Less represents freedom.

Tip 3: Making special requests for your remains. Do your family members really know your final wishes?

Does everyone agree on them?

It is so important to have this in writing.

Advanced Planning- non legal organizing

  • Funeral, memorial service, celebration of life
  • Organ donation plan
  • Cremation or burial
  • Obituary ( be very careful about identity theft when publishing)
  • Eulogy
  • Asset Distribution
  • Estate Directory – friends, family ( have an up to date list of all their names and numbers)
  • List of Doctors, lawyers, financial planner, minister, accountant, insurance agent, employer, godparents, neighbours, kids school, babysitter, and daycare. Be sure to update these lists as things change in your life. I suggest reviewing this information once a year.
  • phone company
  • banks
  • credit card companies
  • volunteer organizations you belong to
  • Safety deposit box (with location of key) one way to insure smooth sailing is to have your bank acct and safety deposit box in joint name with one of your survivors.
  • Anything else you can think of that your survivors would need access to. Like passport, birth certificate and SIN # etc

Tip 4: Legal Essentials

  • Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Representation Agreement ( living will)
  • Cash/life insurance, all financial documents
  • Business Succession Plan (if you own your own business) listing names of employees and their numbers, any contract workers or suppliers.
  • Any outstanding loans/alimony/child support

Tip 5: In order to process a registration of death for vital statistics and to process a death certificate, the funeral home will need the following

  • The deceased persons full legal name including maiden name if female
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Birthplace
  • Social insurance number
  • Health care number
  • Fathers full name
  • Mothers full name
  • Full name of surviving spouse
  • Occupation and for how long
  • Religious affiliation
  • Was the deceased a military veteran? This is important to have this information on file.

I am wishing all of my readers a long, happy, healthy, successful life.

When you do pass on, where will your affairs lie in the spectrum between chaos and order?

Please let me help you and your loved ones by making this transition smooth.

PS: Contact me today for a free 15 minute phone consultant on estate organizing. I’ll share with you your first next step.