Getting Organized: The Death Dossier

Having a place where all your important documents are gathered is vital should anything happen that will require your loved ones to access anything. Sometimes called a Death Dossier or a Finale Folder, this collection of documents should include all the critical items such as Powers of Attorney, wills, estate trusts, banking and tax information, as well as the following:

Health Care Insurance
Have copies of your healthcare insurance documents in this file. This includes any private policies or drug plans. If you have receipts from health care expenses, file them here as well for tax purposes.

House, Land and Cemetery Deeds
Gather together all the documents pertaining to your home ownership, and land you may own, domestically and abroad, as well as any paperwork pertaining to cemetery plots you may have purchased. If you own property outside your home country, be sure to include any relevant tax documents. Timeshare agreements, mortgage documents and deeds should also be in this file.

Vehicle Titles
All titles to your vehicles - cars, recreational vehicles, boats - would fall under this category. Include copies of ownership and insurance for all the vehicles you own or lease. It is also a good idea to file any paperwork pertaining to warranty repairs or recalls.

Life Insurance and Retirement Funds
This folder is home to all policies regarding insurance, both life and car. Include a copy of your most recent policy renewals in this folder. If you have instructions for your vehicle outside of what is indicated in your will, this is the place to make a note of that. If your vehicle is old with little value, ask that your heirs donate it to a cause that will issue your estate a tax credit in return.
Financial information around your retirement should also be organized here, such as bank or investment firm statements for your RRSP, RRIF, or TFSA accounts. Details of what banks or investment firms manage your holdings should be included, especially if you invested in more than one place. Take the time to highlight pertinent information, such as maturity dates and special instructions. If you collect a private and/or government pension, copies of statements or assessments should be in this folder.

Marriage and Divorce
This folder is the right place for any prenuptial or postnuptial documents. Whether or not you are still married, a copy of your marriage certificate and licence will be important to add to your death dossier. If you are divorced, add a copy of any judgments, your divorce order and your divorce certificate.

Getting these documents ready is an important step in building your death dossier. Taking care of these details can help streamline your estate's administration and make decision-making easier for your loved ones.

Additional articles by Marion on related topics are linked below:
30 Documents Before You Die- Essentials
30 Documents Before You Die - Health Care
30 Documents Before You Die - Proof of Ownership
30 Documents Before You Die - Insurance

This Author's Services

Marion Goard, Broker, Keller Williams Edge Realty - Your Trusted Resource and Partner for later-in-life Moves in Burlington - Seniors Real Estate Burlington

As a Lifestyle 55+ Master and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)® Marion's knowledge and expertise is beneficial for seniors' and their families when a later-in-life move is being considered. Knowing what questions to ask, what options may be suitable plus the legal, financial and emotional matters that come into play is key to helping seniors make their decisions by choice, simply not by circumstances! You can count on Marion to minimize stress and uncertainty while also providing top-notch real estate services. To view reviews of Marion's services visit Rate My Agent.

Contact Marion today to get started tailoring a plan that's right for you!  -Seniors Real Estate Burlington