I guess this is topical for these days (written during the COVID-19 pandemic), but let’s do a quick wander through what your Financial Disaster Plan might need to include.
Will and Power of Attorney
Doesn’t matter if you think this will not affect you, you need to have these documents in place. If you are single, OK it isn’t urgent, but if you have a spouse or more, do this first. Plenty of easy on line sites to do it with, or call a lawyer or notary.
For the Power of Attorney, different provinces have different rules, so make sure you set that up correctly too. I have learned too much about Quebec’s rules lately, thanks to a loved one still living there (and their POA).
If you have a family you should have life insurance. It should at least pay out to leave your family debt free should you die. It would be better to leave them more money to help out given the loss of your income. No, not full life or any stuff like that, TERM life insurance (5 or 10 year terms) is fine.
Disability insurance should be considered as well, especially if you are the sole income earner for your family.
A certain amount of actual cash available to you would not hurt. No I am not saying have $10,000 in cash hidden in your house, but a couple of hundred couldn’t hurt having around. Maybe a little US Cash too? If you live near the border, never a bad idea
Dear Lord, why do people hoard toilet paper during a crisis? You are assuming there will be toilets (or something like that) during this crisis? Maybe some canned food, and some water would make sense, but bum wad? Really? COVID-19 is a respiratory sickness (i.e. your lungs not your bum).
List of Critical Information
What if you become incapacitated, how will your designated helper do things without the hundreds of passwords needed to do your banking, or anything else? Who will scrub clean your Google and Search logs?
Somewhere, somehow but securely you will need to have that information available to the people you trust, to act for you. A list inside a safety deposit box? An encrypted Word document somewhere?
What about all of your insurance policy numbers, your pension information, and anything else loved ones might need should you find your untimely demise? How do they get at the “safety blanket” you left for them?
Debts and Emergency Funds
Keep Calm and Plan
We are currently in an emergency, but if you are at home with not much to do, maybe it is time to start planning?