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Important Documents

Posted On 5/23/2017 By Admin

If you’re old enough to remember the Troop hit “We’re here for a good time, not a long time,” from their 1977studio album. Knock 'Em Dead Kid, then you’re old enough to understand the implications, and start taking steps to ensure your estate is in order in the event of your death.


At Ridley Funeral Homes in Etobicoke, we understand the challenges faced by those heirs left to determine the wishes of family members who didn’t prepare: having to deal with their grief, funeral planning, and all the estate details, like who gets what - often with a huge emotional toll that could have been avoided with comprehensive estate-planning. Ridley Funeral Homes provides a free Estate Planning Guide as a simple and effective way of compiling and sharing important information with your loved ones, as well as flexible funeral pre-planning.


While the topic can be uncomfortable for many, few want to actually acknowledge life’s finality, preparing for your death (or even a stroke or significant disability) can give a tremendous sense of personal security, and greatly decrease the burden that would be suddenly thrown upon your loved ones. Here’s some of the basics you should consider:

When it comes to the legal components, create and keep current:


  • your last will and testament, and any trusts;


  • your living will (health care or medical directive) document;


  • your power of attorney documents (financial and medical); and
  • review beneficiary designations and account titles to see if they are worded appropriately.


But simply having these documents is not enough, there are also the organizational tasks that need to be addressed:


  • make a master Estate Information packet (a non-legal, informational document);


  • keep these important papers in one place and organize your records so they are self-explanatory to other people;


  • let your spouse, a trusted family member, or trusted friend know where your Estate Information is located, it will help tremendously anyone helping with your affairs;


  • get a good quality fireproof box or fireproof safe for important records; and


  • update it every year, making sure your insurance policy and retirement savings plan beneficiaries are up to date.


Why is this important? Will planning involves drawing up three important legal documents: a will, power of attorney, and your choice for an executor, the person you name in your will to handle your estate. You can choose any reliable adult to be your executor. Usually, the best choice is a family member or a close friend, but you can also name a lawyer, a private trust company, or the public trustee.


An enduring power of attorney gives someone the authority to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so. Your attorney would carry out your business and legal affairs if you’re:


  • Terminally ill;
  • Permanently unconscious; and
  • Otherwise unfit, such as becoming mentally incompetent.


Upon death, however, a power of attorney automatically ends. From then on, your affairs would be managed per the provisions of your Will. A Will provides instructions for the distribution of your estate as well as appointing an executor to act on your behalf – anyone over 18 years of age and “of sound mind” can draw up a legally binding Will that is enacted upon death.


Remember also to talk to your loved ones about your estate plan. It’s important for them to know how you want your estate handled and why you’ve made the choices you’ve made, including any preferences for you funeral.


If you have questions about estate planning, cremation and cemetery services, or for funeral pre-planning in Etobicoke, contact Ridley Funeral Homes at 416-259 3705 or email contactus@ridleyfuneralhome.com today to create special gatherings for the special people in your life.