Investing a few hours into reviewing and evaluating your important documents.will provide you with peace of mind about your financial and legal security. Some key components to get your financial and legal affairs in order include:
1. Review your estate plan
I recommend that everyone have a Will, and if you don’t already have one, consider setting up an appointment with a lawyer. Reviewing all of your assets and documents should help you prepare to meet with your lawyer.
If you already have a Will, make sure you (and your loved ones) know where the originals are located. Review it annually to ensure that the decisions you made still work for you and your family. Contact the individuals you selected as your guardian and executor and make sure they’re still able to take on these roles, if needed.
If you’re making the conscious choice not to complete a will, you should still review your assets and beneficiary designations. This means pulling out all of your Deeds, policies, benefit statements and other information about your assets and where they would go in the event of your death or incapacity.
2. Make sure that someone can make decisions for you if you cannot
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care allows you to choose someone to make your health care decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. While a “living will” is not really a legal document in Ontario, you can indicate in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care your specific wishes regarding end of life decisions and other important matters.
A Power of Attorney for Property allows you to choose someone to make financial decisions – and to deal with your property – if you were incapacitated. Think about what would happen if you suddenly were unable to sign cheques or make bill payments. If you haven’t appointed someone, your loved ones would need to bring a court application to be appointed as the Guardian of your property, which is expensive and time-consuming.
3. Get your financial and legal documents organized
It’s extremely important to “get your affairs in order,” As part of my estate planning process, I provide my clients with a Peace of Mind Personal Inventory, a tool to record all their important information, from their doctor’s contact information to their office security code. There are a lot of things that most of us store ‘in our head” that our loved ones would need if we were gone.
Don’t wait until someday–resolve to get organized today! Call Allinotte Law Office at 613-933-7720 to book your appointment today. Please mention this blog post when you call for an appointment.
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Michele R.J. Allinotte is the owner of Allinotte Law Office 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.