Part of the changes I am making to the way I practice law is by creating tools to help you with estate planning and other legal issues. I know that you are as busy as I am and anything to make things easier and faster is always welcomed.

One of the things I always tell clients is that as part of the estate planning process, it is a good idea to get all of your information together in one place. Account numbers, contact people, life insurance numbers, all that “stuff” that you know where to find, but no one else would. I recommend my clients gather this information and either give this information to the person they have appointed as their executor, or at lease let that person know where this information is stored.

Yes, I’m a lawyer and I know all the legal reasons why you need to plan for incapacity or death, but I’ve also experienced the practical reasons you need to organize your information too.

When my grandparents were in their later years, my grandmother was experiencing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. My mother helped them relocate from Brantford, Ontario, to the granny suite my parents had built here at their home in Cornwall. I recall my mother’s frustration at trying to make sense of all of the papers and documents she found. She tried to sort everything out then, but I still recall her searching later on, after one or both of my grandparents had passed, and she found an old life insurance policy that had been cancelled due to non-payment.

If my grandparents had done proper planning and recorded all this information, my mother would have had a much easier time sorting through their affairs. Yet, in my own life, I know it isn’t that easy to get it all together. I thought about how to make this easier and thought that some kind of a checklist would be very helpful.

So, I have created the “Peace of Mind Personal Inventory”, an 8 page checklist where you can record all of your information from where you keep your spare key to life insurance details and medical information to email and bank passwords. Once you fill out the form, you initial the envelope and give it to your designated person or you can give it to your lawyer to be kept with your will (as long as the important people in your life know that this information is with your lawyer!). All of your important information will be in one place and you can rest assured that your loved ones will have a much easier time should you become incapacitated or pass away.

I’m providing this checklist to you at no charge because I think it is such an important part of your estate planning process.  To get your complimentary copy, please get in touch with my office and mention this blog post.

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Michele R.J. Allinotte is the owner of Allinotte Law Office Professional Corporation in Cornwall, Ontario and she helps her clients make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their businesses. Her practice focuses on the areas of business law, estate planning and real estate. Visit www.YourCornwallLawyer.com to get her FREE Peace of Mind Personal Inventory to make sure that your family has all the information they need.