Tuesday Talks with Kirsteen Etherington: Simple Estate Planning Tip – Where Is This Stuff

A subject that can be difficult to think about and plan for – but one that is essential for every family – is the preparation and proper financial planning for the eventuality of a loved one’s passing. We tend to delay this important discussion and in so doing can make the relatively simple acts of locating important documentation and details of financial arrangements stressful and difficult at a time when emotionally we may be struggling to cope.

All of a sudden we can be faced with an inability to access accounts at the bank; understand the company benefits, life insurance, pension and investment information that we need and the necessary paperwork and documentation required by these institutions to obtain same.

Jane Blaufus, author of With the Stroke of a Pen states: ” We have an obligation to ourselves and those who we love to leave this world in an organized manner.”

The below listing – Find This Stuff! – was compiled by Jane Blaufus and includes some of the important documentation and information that you may wish to compile and store in a safety deposit box, or with a trusted advisor:

  • Family members to contact –  with full names and phone numbers
  • Copy of living will- with lawyer’s name and phone number
  • Inventory of assets and liabilities
  • Summary of Life insurance policies- with contact name and number
  • Investment information
  • Bank information – bank branches and contact number
  • Birth certificate
  • Citizen papers
  • Old Age Security
  • GIS
  • Social Insurance Card
  • Seniors Benefits Programme
  • Military Pension – pension office contact number
  • Federal Superannuation
  • Company Pension/ Group Healthcare and Life Insurance
  • Benefits (company HR contact number)
  • Provincial Pension
  • Foreign Pension
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Credit Cards
  • Veteran’s Benefits
  • Title Transfers
  • Property Insurance
  • Government Health Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Lease Vehicle Insurance
  • Utilities

Arranging these financial documents, planning and completing an estate plan and getting our affairs in order will provide that peace of mind and satisfaction. Our family and loved ones will never be faced with the anguish and stress caused by not being informed – at a time when the emotional grief can be hard enough to bear.

Kirsteen Etherington is Vice President at Etherington Generations and manages the underwriting and individual client servicing departments. In 2002 Kirsteen was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for significant contributions to Canada, Community and Fellow Canadians.