Monday, 13 March 2017 07:17

The Most Important Organising You Will Ever Do!

In the last few months my team has worked with a number of people downscaling and moving in retirement homes or complexes. One couple in particular were super organized with their paperwork. All their important documents had been gathered together in one filing box and marked accordingly. As we worked with them I thought about how we shouldn’t wait until retirement to have all our affairs in order. So I spent some time researching what we need to have and what we need to think should something happen to us. Whether you have a box or a file, here is a list of things you ought to think about and get organized sooner rather than later.

Contact information

  • Lawyer and executor of will
  • Accountant and bookkeeper
  • Investment broker, financial advisors, etc
  • Insurance agents
  • family, friends and colleagues

Document locator

  • Legal - wills, power of attorney, trust docs, safe deposit box
  • Family - birth, adoption, guardianship, citezenship, marriage, divorce
  • Banking - loans, morgages, lists of accounts, statements, cancelled cheques etc
  • Investments - stocks, retirement annuities
  • Business - incorporation papers, contracts, agreements
  • Deeds and titles - title insurance, property, home inventory, vehicles
  • Insurance - life, death benefits, property, homeowners, auto
  • Military - service records, discharge
  • ID - passport, driver's license, ID document
  • Income tax records

Planning in advance

  • Outline funeral and burial plans
  • Select type of service, music, prayers etc
  • Decide what you DON"T want to happen
  • Burial or cremation etc

Taking care of loved ones

  • Guardianship papers for your children
  • How much money does your family need to replace your income
  • Adequate life insurance
  • Adequate money set aside to cover cost of dying
  • Adequate money set aside to cover long-term medical costs
  • Beneficiaries for your accounts, investments, and insurance


  • How much inheritance tax will be due on your assets
  • How much will it cost to have your will probated
  • Assets to your spouse which can be received tax-free
  • Begin gifting tax-free money to your children prior to death
  • Planning to make charitable gift as part of your estate?

Your wishes

  • Do you have a current up to date signed will
  • Do you have a financial power of attorney
  • Do you have a living will and medical power of attorney
  • Do you have a current signed organ donor card
  • Does your executor have copies of all these documents
  • Have you clearly outlined how you want possessions distributed
  • Have you labeled items you want to go to specific people

It is probably the most important organizing you can do! DO it now!

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