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July/August 2014

Commentary - Hans H. Mathisen

"Beware the summer burglar season" – states LIFE LETTER for July. What steps can you take to help protect your home from break-ins?

"How to prepare a personal estate checklist" - This is the topic of the August issue of LIFE LETTER. Wouldn't you like to make life easier for your family and heirs, and those that will be called upon to settle your estate?


“Estate planning lessons from celebrities” is the subject of LIFE LETTER MATURE for July. You can learn valuable estate planning lessons from those that have made mistakes before you.

The art of downsizing” LLM for August looks at Downsizing. Looking at your lifestyle, and downsizing, should be an important part of any retirement plan.


Hans Mathisen





Beware the summer burglar season

We live in a materialistic world. The more nice "stuff" people accumulate, the bigger the target for burglars and thieves to try to take it away for quick cash. With the summer vacation season upon us and warmer weather tempting us outdoors, we may be unwittingly making ourselves easier targets. Here are a few things we can do to prevent being victims:

Lock the front door - When hosting a back-yard get together, the front door can often be left unlocked. If everyone is in the backyard, all the burglar has to do is listen for party noises and try the front door. If it's unlocked, a quick entry and departure with valuables may take hours to be noticed.

Keep the lawn trimmed - If travelling for a while, make arrangements for the lawn to be cut regularly. A shaggy lawn can be a sure give-away that nobody's home. Stop newspaper service as well.

Have it checked regularly - Besides it being a requirement of your homeowners' insurance, have someone check inside your home every two days to make sure there are no problems with plumbing, appliances, etc. Have them do a quick tour of the yard and pick up any trash that's lying around. Clever burglars will scatter a bit of litter and check back in a few days to see if it's been picked up.

Vague voice mail message - It can be tempting to leave a message that you're on vacation until a certain date. This gives burglars a clear window on when they can break in. All that really needs to be asked for is name and number, and perhaps time of call.

No social media news - More and more people are using the Internet social networking sites to keep in touch with friends. Announcing a vacation or posting updates while travelling can potentially drop useful information into the hands of thieves.

Keep it locked up - A recent news article recounted an incident of a woman who was ticketed for leaving her car windows open on a hot day. She was told by police that she broke the law by leaving her vehicle unprotected. Not only that, it could have led thieves right to her home. If they get your vehicle documents (which many leave in their glove boxes) and the garage door opener, burglars can make very quick work of stripping a home of valuables.

Don't get lured away - Beware of someone posing as a passerby or neighbour who says they noticed something on your roof or home exterior they want to show you. While you're distracted, an accomplice can slip in and make off with some valuables. Thieves can also use the old lost dog trick or pose as a utility worker who wants to show you where they'll be working. If you are stepping out, lock the door.

Close the garage - A wide open garage can be an invitation for a theft of opportunity. Install curtains or blinds on garage windows and keep them closed so thieves can't check out the contents. Keep the garage people door with direct access to your home locked.

Lights and radios - Have your house checker turn different lights on each visit and leave a radio on while away, preferably on a news station.

Protect yourself from thieves - because it’s the responsible thing to do! Call today.

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -

Copyright © 2014 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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How to prepare a personal estate checklist

Nobody likes to think about dying. Imagine for a moment, though, the affect on those that will be called on to settle your estate if they have to figure out what you've got and where it all is. Not a very pretty picture. Information that should be included in your checklist includes:

Vital Statistics - This includes Social Insurance Numbers, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, etc., for you, your partner and offspring.

Will and Other Estate Documents - Your will has instructions for what needs to be done with your affairs when you die. Your Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive cover these decisions for you if you die a little bit and can’t manage your affairs.

Bank Accounts and Safe Deposit Boxes - Millions of dollars are turned over to the Bank of Canada because bank account holders can't be located.

Creditors - One of the lines in the first paragraph of most wills states that all creditors must be paid before the rest of the estate can be distributed.

Life and Accident & Sickness Insurance - Record your insurance advisors' name and contact information. This will aid in the claims process. Also record names of companies, policy numbers, type of insurance and location of policies to make sure none are missed.

Funeral Arrangements – It is becoming more common to pre-arrange and even pre-pay for your funeral. funeral. Record the information of the funeral service you have used and the location of paperwork.

Investments - You've worked hard for your money and your life savings are likely in several plans. Record the type of investment, the account number and location of statements.

Property and Casualty Insurance - You have insurance on your home, vehicles, recreation property or RVs, and the other important things in your life. Keep a record of this information, too.

Real Estate Holdings - This includes your home, cottage, investment properties and foreign retirement property. A record of this also helps in settling income taxes quickly and efficiently.

Business Interests - If you have ownership in a business, proper disposition or management will need to be dealt with if you are unable to due to illness or death. Make a record of all your business documents and agreements that deal with its disposition.

Professional Advisors - Make a list of all your advisors including insurance and investment advisor, lawyer, accountant, banker, doctors, specialists, dentist, and any other professionals you work with.

Okay, now that you have your checklist done, what do you do with it? Update it regularly, especially when there are changes in your life. Keep it in a safe place, but not in your safe deposit box. Make a copy and give it to your trusted advisor. And let the person who will be in charge know where it is.

Prepare an estate record - because it's the responsible thing to do! Call today!

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -

Copyright © 2014 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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335 Redberry Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4W5
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