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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Save your executor or POA hours of searching: record your important info

Today I spent a couple of hours working on a client file in which two adult children are trying to become the guardian of their mother. The mom has dementia and recently had to move into care. The children both live in other provinces.

The biggest challenge faced by the family members right now is lack of information. They didn't know who their mom's doctors are, what prescriptions she needed or where she filled them, who has keys to her (now vacant) house, where she picked up her mail, how to get into her computer, whether she had a will or POA and if so, where they might be kept, whether she has insurance, and a million other important details.

This situation is in many ways similar to the job that an executor must do after someone has passed away. It can be a real struggle to understand and document someone else's whole life. It takes hours of searching, emailing, and calling people and odds are good that despite good intentions and honest effort, things can be overlooked. Talk about a frustrating job!

It doesn't need to be that tough. We developed a way for people to organize and record their own information so that anyone who has to take over for them - an executor, an attorney under a power of attorney, or a guardian - will have access to the important stuff. It's a coil-bound book of 94 pages, designed like a workbook for people to fill in. We call it "For My Family With Love". There are places to record the usual things lawyers want people to record, such as assets, debts, insurance policies, and bank account numbers. But it also has space for all of the things mentioned above - such as who has keys to the house and which pharmacy has your prescriptions on file. It also has plenty of space to record passwords, and even has a helpful list of digital assets to remind you of which ones you need to record.

This workbook is one of the consistently most popular items that clients request at our office. We have adult kids buying the workbook for their parents, and parents buying them for their kids, and plenty of people who buy them for themselves. If you want to check it out or perhaps get a copy for yourself, click this link.

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