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How to Prepare a Personal Estate Checklist

Nobody likes to think about dying. Imagine for a moment, though, the affect on those that will be called on to settle your estate if they have to figure out what you've got and where it all is. Not a very pretty picture. Information that should be included in your checklist includes:

Vital Statistics - This includes Social Insurance Numbers, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, etc., for you, your partner and offspring.

Will and Other Estate Documents - Your will has instructions for what needs to be done with your affairs when you die. Your Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive cover these decisions for you if you die a little bit and can’t manage your affairs.

Bank Accounts and Safe Deposit Boxes - Millions of dollars are turned over to the Bank of Canada because bank account holders can't be located.

Creditors - One of the lines in the first paragraph of most wills states that all creditors must be paid before the rest of the estate can be distributed.

Life and Accident & Sickness Insurance - Record your insurance advisors' name and contact information. This will aid in the claims process. Also record names of companies, policy numbers, type of insurance and location of policies to make sure none are missed.

Funeral Arrangements – It is becoming more common to pre-arrange and even pre-pay for your funeral. Record the information of the funeral service you have used and the location of paperwork.

Investments - You've worked hard for your money and your life savings are likely in several plans. Record the type of investment, the account number and location of statements.

Property and Casualty Insurance - You have insurance on your home, vehicles, recreation property or RVs, and the other important things in your life. Keep a record of this information, too.

Real Estate Holdings - This includes your home, cottage, investment properties and foreign retirement property. A record of this also helps in settling income taxes quickly and efficiently.

Business Interests - If you have ownership in a business, proper disposition or management will need to be dealt with if you are unable to due to illness or death. Make a record of all your business documents and agreements that deal with its disposition.

Professional Advisors - Make a list of all your advisors including insurance and investment advisor, lawyer, accountant, banker, doctors, specialists, dentist, and any other professionals you work with.

Okay, now that you have your checklist done, what do you do with it? Update it regularly, especially when there are changes in your life. Keep it in a safe place, but not in your safe deposit box. Make a copy and give it to your trusted advisor. And let the person who will be in charge know where it is.

Prepare an Estate Record - because it's the responsible thing to do! Call today!

Canada Retirement Information Centre

Retirement Income Specialists Suite 212, 1827 Woodward Drive, Ottawa, ON K2C 0P9

(613) 225-2020 Toll Free 1-800-524-7743