The Importance of a Go Binder

 In Estate Planning

Talking about your death is not an easy conversation to jump right into. It is uncomfortable to sit down with loved ones and go over all the details, and we often put it off until it is too late. Did you know that most Canadian adults, an estimated 56%, do not have a signed will or any plans set in place? Roughly 29% of Canadian adults do not have a will because they either do not know how to get started or believe they cannot afford one. Not having a will or any plans made is a bigger problem than you may think. This oversight can cost thousands of dollars in legal bills, bitter family disputes, as well as legal battles between siblings and/or their spouses. All of this could be avoided with a few simple conversations and the preparation of a GO BINDER.   

You are probably asking yourself, what is this Go Binder I speak of?…. A Go Binder is essentially your one-stop spot for all your information in the event of an emergency. This binder should contain things such as:  

  • Will(s)  
  • Power of Attorney documents 
  • Tax Returns  
  • Marriage / Divorce certificate  
  • Home purchase documents  
  • Bank account & Investment information  
  • Vehicle information  
  • Insurance papers  
  • Utility Bills  
  • And more! 

Your Go Binder, being your one-stop spot, should have all the information needed to access everything in your name. Do you have any online accounts? What about memberships or loyalty cards? Be sure to have those passwords and login information securely included as well!   
  
I recently sat down to prepare my own Go Binder. Being the planner that I am, I already had a jump start on the project, having a binder with most of the information required already organized. I like to be prepared; what can I say? I updated a few documents, replaced some older forms with the new versions, wrote a log of all my logins and passwords, and then it came to the tricky part, talking about my eventual death and wishes. At the ripe age of 27, my after-death plans were not something I had given much thought to before this. Let me tell you, and it is a lot to think about! Imagine you woke up tomorrow and could no longer speak for yourself? What would you want those taking care of you to know? Let alone, what do I want to happen to my body?! If you haven’t investigated options already, you should do a google search now; there are some pretty fantastic options out there!   

The entire process took my partner and me an evening to talk it all out and assemble our trusty Go Binder. While it only took a few hours, it has saved my sanity TONS knowing that we are protected in the event of an emergency. Our wishes are laid out in writing, and all our information is easily accessible for those who will need it in the event of an emergency. Did you know that 88% of the Canadian population in my demographic, 27-34 years old, don’t have any plans made because they think they are too young to have to worry about it? This number honestly scared me! That was me a few months ago, and now knowing what I know, I am shocked that I could have been so naïve. Nobody can predict the future or the date that you will pass away. There is no better way to be prepared than with the preparation of your Go Binder. What are you waiting for? Start your Go Binder preparation today; your future self will thank you! 

 Statistics Source: Jim Yih, https://retirehappy.ca/too-many-canadians-have-no-will/

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