Creating Resiliency

BY R .A . (BOB) CHALLIS, CFP, RHU, TEP, THE NAKAMUN GROUP, WINNIPEG

Resiliency — the capability to cope and function in the face of significant adversity

We wake up each day, and at some point, plan our tasks and activities. We presume we’ll be healthy enough to complete all that we planned. But what if, suddenly, that reality changed? A sudden serious illness, or diagnosis of one, invariably knocks your spouse and other family members for a loop. Would you or your family members know what to do if you became ill or incapacitated? Who would handle your affairs, and how would that person access your important documents? Could there be problems?

This is a difficult issue to even think about, but not doing so can and does result in serious financial and practical challenges. Having a contingency plan in place is the only way to ease the stresses faced by your love ones.

If you had just three months’ advance notice of a serious event, how would you prepare? Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Plan and Organize

Your spouse, adult children, and any others who will handle your financial affairs, should know the locations of all important documents, contracts, policies, and any other information they will need. They should also know the name and contact information of the people to call for assistance, such as your lawyer, financial advisor, primary doctor, and dentist. Last but never least, identify issues unique to your situation.

Document Everything of Importance

Create detailed lists of everything you own, control, or are responsible for. Remember to itemize computer application credentials and
passwords. Update regularly.

Assemble Tax Records

Keep your tax records in one place, along with supporting documents such as prior-year tax returns; bank and credit card statements;
cancelled cheques; deduction receipts; details on income from employment, pension, interest, dividends; the cost of any investments;
and a historical summary of capital gains and losses claimed.

Legalize Documents

You must have a valid, written Power of Attorney that authorizes one person to act on your behalf regarding financial matters. Requirements differ from province to province, so seek legal advice.

Call Your Nakamun Advisor

Effective contingency planning makes a significant difference in the outcome of unexpected situations and in the lives of those you will depend on. Your Nakamun Advisor can help you with your planning and implementation.

Your Personal Checklist of Important Documents

  • Insurance policies and contact information
  • Bank accounts and contact information
  • Debt obligations, due dates, and contact information
  • Family’s passports
  • Doctors and contact information
  • Medications, prescription numbers, and contact information of all pharmacies you use
  • Power of Attorney, living will, healthcare proxies for you and all for whom you are attorney-in-fact or healthcare surrogate
  • Your will(s) and all those of the people for whom you are executor
  • Safety deposit box keys and location of the box
  • Investment, retirement, and bank accounts, with all contact information
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