Congratulations to those of you that have up-to-date Wills and Powers of Attorney. But, it doesn’t end there.
When you rely on an Executor or Power of Attorney that is not your spouse, like a child or friend, they probably won’t know where to begin in uncovering and gathering all your assets. They will have to start rummaging through your home to locate bank statements, life insurance policies and anything else they can locate to manage or probate your Estate. But, even if they go through every scrap of paper, they can never be truly sure that this is the entirety of your estate.
In fact, you may also forgot with time what assets and liabilities you have. That is why I always recommend that clients prepare a simple checklist having key pieces of information, like:
- Name and location of where they do their banking;
- Account details – ie. chequing/savings and estimated balances;
- List address of real estate you own – ie. home/cottage (keeping an old tax bill with the checklist is great because it has key details about the property) & estimated balance of any outstanding mortgage and name and contact information of lender;
- Name and contact details of Insurance Agent & policy number of any life or home insurance;
- Name and contact details of Financial Adviser/Planner & account/portfolio number with estimated balance;
- Name and contact details of Lawyer;
- List of credit cards
- List details of any corporate holdings you may have including any business or partnership interests;
- Anything else you thing is necessary for the Executor or Power of Attorney to know.
Make sure to put the date at the top of the page & sign your name on the bottom.
At our firm, we keep the original Wills and Powers of Attorney stored in a fireproof vault with a unique client number for easy retrieval when required. We advise the clients to provide us with a copy of the checklist to store with their Wills/Powers of Attorney.
Our clients are provided with a signed copy of their Wills and Powers of Attorney and we advise them to keep those documents along with a copy of their checklist stored together. The signed copies don’t need to be in a vault since the original is already in our vault. We simply advise clients to keep them in a file wherever they keep important documents at home but to also inform their named Executors and Powers of Attorney of their whereabouts
This saves everyone a lot of grief and stress when the time comes to rely on those documents.
Article written by Karmel Sakran
Readers may contact Karmel Sakran at 905-639-1222 ext. 224