Have you ever wondered what will happen to your ball cap collection when you die? What about your pet, who will take care of ol’ Fluffy when you aren’t there anymore? Who is going to tell your Facebook friends that you are gone? We can easily become overwhelmed from all of these unanswered questions. 

This is why Catherine Rahal created her book, “If you love them, leave them lists”. In this book, you can compile six lists of information recommended so your loved ones are not left guessing the answers. Everything from social media passwords and where you keep your paper records, to your final wishes. If you don’t take the time to write these details down, no one will really know the answers you have for them. 

A good first step is to decide who will look after your affairs, who is going to need access to the lists? Your spouse, child, cousin, friend, whoever you choose, be sure to have a discussion with them. Let them know that you wish to involve them in your life details once you are gone. Sharing these wishes with them allows them to prepare themselves for when you have passed so they can honor your wishes best. 

There are six topics that deserve lists. 

People

Take note of your executor, financial planner, and contact information of your employer. If applicable: who you entrust your kids or pets to. 

Paper

Listing off where they can find the important documents. Your birth certificate, passport, SIN and Will. Your papers and what you want and need done with them must be accessible to the ones who are taking care of your items. A current Will also allows your loved ones to know exactly what you want instead of leaving them guessing. 

Money

The more information you can provide in this category the smoother the process will go for the people you have entrusted to tidy things up. They will need your banking, investment and real estate information. As well as any details on who gets money left over. (Of course this information will be part of the Will too.)

Stuff

Everybody has stuff. Important stuff and not so important. Before you are gone, take the time to look around at your things. Take note of what you desire to pass on and to who. It’s also a good idea to downsize or donate while you are still alive, to not burden those who mourn you with trying to figure out what is special and what can be donated. 

Digital Footprint

Write down your passwords, the accounts you want deleted, what you want said on your social media. Unless your loved ones have your passwords, there is a lengthy process required to access accounts like your email. If there is information in your email needed by your loved ones, you will want to be sure they have the ability to reach that information. 

Final Wishes

In the list of important details, be sure to include your final wishes. Details about your funeral, where you would like to be buried, notes you want passed on to loved ones, etc. 

This list looks like a lot, and it is, especially for someone who isn’t you. This undertaking would be incredibly overwhelming without a list that has your life details in it. Putting together a list for them before it is needed, will accommodate them in their time of grieving you. Knowing you took the time to assist in the process, will help bring peace to the situation. 

Have a conversation with your family, friends, executor and potentially also the professionals you work with and trust to fill in your lists, and make sure your wishes are carried out.

Has a loved one who passed left you with a sweet note or an item that meant the world to you? We would love to hear your stories. Message me on social media or send me an email at dan@danhoucher.com