We have previously discussed the importance of a tribe, and today we will take a slightly different slant at protecting our tribe. We will review some of the critical documentation to have in place in order to protect your tribe for un-necessary stress and possibly even tax bills in the event of your un-timely death. Note that this review is based on living in Canada, so your mileage may vary, but at the least, these should be a good place to start.
Here is a list of what I have recently learned is helpful to have readily available:
- A copy of your will
- If you are incorporated or have a business, a copy of your corporation/ business papers and annual meeting minutes
- Copies of all financial investments
- Copies of all tax returns (7 yrs)
- Copies of all corporate/ business tax returns (7 yrs)
- If relevant, copies of citizenship papers, residency and foreign tax returns
- Copies of any professional registrations (7 yrs)
- Copies of insurance policies (ie. Life Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance)
- Copies of titles to all properties (must know whose name they are in)
- Copies of any and all Powers of Attorney (who can manage your money if you become unable to do so)
- A designated Power of Attorney for your business if appliacble
- Designated Guardianship for any dependants (children or elderly parents included)
- Copies of bank statements for past 12 months (each account)
- Copies of RRSP holdings and ensure the death recipient is set up
- Designated Health Care Directive or Living Will
It is also helpful to have a list of:
- Who you would like notified of your death
- What type of ceremony you would like if any, with specifics about where, religious or not, if there is any special music you would like, particular food served etc
- What you would like done with your physical body (donate to science, donate organs, cremation, burial etc)
- Where you would like to buried or have your ashes dispersed and will your estate pay for this to happen and when
- Some people also choose to do a “Life Review”, where they make a video or written recording of their life and what they hope for their friends and family to move forward with.
I know that prior to recent events I had not amassed this information and had not understood what a difference it can make to the family or friends who are left behind. I am grateful to those who shared their experience with us, so we could help others be better prepared, and not be forced to delay grieving because of the business part of death.
We’d love to hear from you, here, by email, or on twitter: @kryanwilson or @DrAdrianaWilson.