I started working on the CBB Emergency Binder in 2021 and finally finished it for January 2022.
It was important because we didn’t have to stress about what was left for our son to do if we passed away.
After recently having to go through the process of a family death and sorting everything out I can tell you it was challenging.
Many times Mrs. CBB cried over not knowing where to begin and luckily the lawyer had copies of the WILL because we couldn’t find them.
We both worked on the Emergency Binder, and now it sits with a copy of our Will in our fireproof safe.
Recently we bought a large Sentry fireproof safe from Costco Canada to store our documents in the event of a fire, break-in or death.
It’s certainly a great investment, especially if you have money or jewellery that you want to keep safe.
The Emergency Binder is FREE to all new subscribers to the blog once they subscribe and confirm.
I will be sending out the password for existing subscribers in this Friday’s Newsletter.
Today, I will run through each page in the Emergency Binder and explain each and its importance.
What Is An Emergency Binder?
An emergency binder is used to document important information that you might not have in your WILL.
It will be a lifesaver as the Power of Attorney (POA) will have access to the information needed to close your affairs.
Power Of Attorney
There are two kinds of Power of Attorney, one for your personal and health care and property.
A Power of Attorney is someone you can trust to help you when you are unable to with your finances and healthcare decisions.
If you’re married or common-law, this is important so that your spouse or partner has access to documents and passwords.
Don’t put this on the back burner, just as many people do with getting a WILL drawn up.
The emergency binder is like a gift for anyone looking after your affairs.
Who Should Use The Emergency Binder?
Unless you have all of the information documented in your legal WILL, which most people don’t, everyone should use the emergency binder.
Some people store information such as this on the computer; however, what if it suddenly disappears?
Don’t forget to backup the backup using a 2T Seagate external hard drive we purchased on Amazon.
As a family of 3, we decided to fill out the forms and put them in our fireproof safe, and we’ve kept a copy on our hard drive.
We used a three-hole punch and put them in a binder to organize the documents.
Emergency Binder List
Not everything in the emergency binder may be related to you, so you can print or save whatever you need.
Some printables may have a double meaning for you, so pick one over the other.
Once you print the documents, please fill them out, print and stash them away with your Canadian Legal Wills if they are completed.
If your emergency binder documents need updating at any time, do so promptly and don’t forget to sign and date each form.
Related: Epilogue is a simple, fast, and affordable way for Canadians to create their Will and Powers of Attorney online.
If you have your POA, sign and date the documents and let the person know where to find your emergency binder.
You may want to let them know how to open the safe if that’s where you will be keeping your emergency binder and WILL.
Trust me, and they will be thankful when the time comes where they need all of this information.
Each printable form is self-explanatory, but I will share a screenshot of one to explain.
CBB Emergency Binder Asset Inventory For Home
Pick The Emergency Binder Printables That Suit You
If you choose to download the Asset Inventory, you will use it to document important assets in your home.
We tend to keep receipts and warranties with the box the item came in or in a box just in case of defects.
Let’s say you are the POA, and your mother has passed away, and your father passed away years ago.
Your mom might have purchased a new lawnmower that came with a warranty.
If she keeps the receipt and warranty in a safe or box, it will be easy for the POA to return the item.
A second example may be that you might have a vintage cabinet that’s been in the family for years worth thousands of dollars.
Please document that information so the POA knows when clearing out the house or getting it ready to sell.
Knowing The Worth Of Items
Leaving detailed information is vital so that each piece is sold accordingly and not thrown in the trash.
Often when a house gets cleared out due to death, the Power of Attorney won’t know what’s worth money unless you tell them.
You might even donate the contents of a home to charity or put it to the curb for free.
Know what you have before getting rid of it, even if you are pressed for time.
Remember that you may also want to leave pieces of your assets to family in your WILL.
It’s always nice to know more about the history of the art, furniture or decor behind each piece.
If you need two sheets, you can print them and save them t your computer as many times as you need.
Free Available Emergency Binder Printables
Below are 18 printable documents that you can include in your emergency binder.
Check back often, as I may add more based on your needs. So, if you think I’m missing something, email me, and I’ll create it.
- Asset Inventory of Home Items – A list of all the assets in your home and their worth
- Legal Documents – Social insurance card, Court documents, Home and mortgage documents etc. Anything legal that must be kept in the safe plus this form.
- Pet Information – Document all about your pet, health conditions, meds, pet insurance, and veternarian.
- Vital Documents – Passports, Birth Certificates , Permanent Resident Card, Marriage Certificate, DIvorce Certificate, Copy of your drivers licence, health card, Vehicle Ownership and Insurance.
- Children Information – Whether you have small children or adults include information in the event the POA is no longer around. This will be important to notify next of kin to deal with the emergency.
- Business Information – Anything important about your business that needs to be left for someone to take care of the business or close it down.
- Family Birth Date Information – When was everyone born in your family and where?
- Website Information, URL’s, Passwords, Secret Codes, Security Answers
- List of All Medications and Location – This may change frequently based on your health
- Utility and Maintenance Information – What utility companies you have, passwords, and how they are paid. You can also add the POA to utility accounts in the even someone passes away. This gives them authority to take care of the utilities as needed.
- Subscriptions, Memberships and Activities – Cancel all subscriptions, memberships and other activities.
- Credit Card information and Online Payment Info – Include credit card information, online passwords, debts you owe and how much. Any other important documentation your POA will need.
- Fireproof Safe Inventory List – What should be in your Fireproof safe in case it goes missing or misplaced. We check our list once a year.
- Financial Information – Banks, Investments, Financial Advisor, Pension, Labour Union
- Loyalty and Rewards Cards Information – List of your loyalty cards and rewards card along with passwords.
- Medical information – What is the status of your health? Heart condition, Cancer, etc.
- Website Information – Anything critical to do with a blog or website include in this form such as passwords and recurring auto-payments, staff members info, affiliate information etc.
- End of Life Planning – What do you want your end of life celebration to be like? Have you preplanned your funeral and paid for it? Where is the funeral services and any documents for POA.
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Being Prepared For Death
Mentally, I don’t think anyone can be prepared for the death of a loved one, but it gets easier with time.
Since the passing of my father-in-law and the amount of paperwork we had to complete was insane.
You have to jump through plenty of red tape when you are the Power of Attorney for someone.
It’s not easy to say yes to as it’s the opposite unless the deceased leaves things in order.
No one really plans on dying, and the Emergency Binder is critical for those who know they are.
Even if you have little to no health problems filling out the emergency binder forms is important.
Research Everything About Creating A Will
The lawyer didn’t ask us anything about passwords, document locations, credit cards, debt, or utility companies when creating our legal WILL.
Was she supposed to? or Were we supposed to tell her what we wanted to be included in our Will?
Both Mrs. CBB and I felt like we didn’t do enough research about creating a Will before we went.
Creating a WILL is only the first step in the process to ensure your wishes are met once you pass.
There’s so much more to deal with especially, cleaning the family home and garage, selling the family home—cottage, boat, three-wheeler, motorbikes, vehicles etc.
Between all of that, the POA must close home utilities, pay any debts, go to the bank to let them know.
We were run ragged, and we certainly didn’t want that to happen with our son or anyone else.
This is where the idea for the Emergency Binder came about, and the best part is that I’m offering it free to my subscribers.
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