Family Matters3 min readDecember 12, 2019

5 reasons for making your personal and financial affairs easy to understand

Nearly one year ago to this very day my 54-year-old partner had a heart attack. I wasn’t notified by the hospital but by his brother, which left me a bit baffled. Clearly, I wasn’t listed as the next of kin. Either Bill did not trust me, or his next of kin notification hadn’t been updated. It turned out that the latter was true – a simple change that had been left undone. I started to wonder if this critical piece of information was overlooked, what other personal or financial information had we forgotten to update or make each other aware of?

We live in a busy and complex world. We may be caring for aging parents and young children and supporting young adults who are making their way in the world, all while trying to keep our affairs in order. We may be single, married, living common law, divorced or widowed. Our personal and financial affairs can be very complicated.

There are several very good reasons for keeping personal and financial information accessible, organized and up to date:

  1. It protects your family and gives them peace of mind.
  2. It ensures that your wishes can be carried out.
  3. Your loved ones will spend less time sorting through and managing your affairs, should they need to step in.
  4. It decreases the chances of an outside third party, such as the government, stepping in and acting on your behalf.
  5. Your loved ones will know what role they will be playing should they be required to act on your behalf.

The MFSA has developed a tool for you and your loved ones called My Personal Affairs Record Keeper. It’s a place to put all your personal and financial information that will help to keep you and others organized. Store it in a safe place, letting only one or two trusted people know where it is. You can fill out a hard copy or download a PDF. You can also complete an online fillable password-protected PDF version that you can email to your trusted people.

The first time you complete this form, be prepared to spend some time gathering and recording information. But know that this time will be well spent. Subsequent updates should take very little time.

Make sure you have done all you can to protect everything you’ve worked so hard for – check out My Personal Affairs Record Keeper today.

– Ainsley Cunningham
Founder and Project Coordinator, MoneySmart Manitoba
Manager, Education & Communications, Manitoba Financial Services Agency

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