Monday, July 30, 2012

RIP Finances

Two months ago, we lost one of our favourite people, Harold Breidon, my husband's grandpa. Harold was one of those men who wore the guise of a curmudgeon--he had all sorts of pet peeves and got irritated whenever anyone didn't play by the rules--but anyone who knew him knew that he truly loved life and enjoyed it fully. He knew everyone; honestly, you couldn't walk down the street anywhere without him running into someone he knew or finding out that a complete stranger was somehow connected to him. Forget six degrees of Kevin Bacon. We're talking three degrees of Harold Breidon.

Harold, ever the storyteller!
Photo by Lisa Loeffler
What I loved most about Harold was how he could regale us with a story about virtually anything--the war, Quebec, buying bagels that morning. He could spin a tale out of anything. Plus, the man was thorough. If he was going to do something, he was going to do it right.

So when he passed, I thought sorting his finances and estate would be a fairly easy endeavour. Well, such things are never easy, what with the emotion and commotion that often surround them. Seems a mistake made on his land title has forced everything to go through probate. (NOTE: Make sure your title doesn't just have owners' names, but also says "as joint tenants".) It will all be sorted eventually with added cost and headache, but it's just another example of why it's a good idea to go through your finances/assets/documents and make sure your wishes are known BEFORE anything happens.

Have a read of my Calgary Herald article that addresses this very issue. My good friend Wayne shares the experience of sorting his dad's finances after he passed. Good advice straight from the heart.

We miss you Harold! xoxo

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