What Happens If I Die?

Written by Jeff Gunther

On April 15, 2020
If you manage assets for partners, they likely know you add significant value to their investment. It’s reasonable for them to wonder what would happen if you were no longer around.
Not long ago I actually sent this message to my partners…

Subject: What Happens If I Die?


… I’m not expecting that anytime soon, but it never hurts to plan.


Someone for whom I have great respect recently asked me: “What happens to our Edmonton townhome real estate investments if you’re no longer able to oversee them?” It’s a good question!
  1. I have a WillEnduring Power of Attorney, and Personal Directive prepared by Wills & Estates Lawyer {NAME} of {COMPANY} in Edmonton. I review and update it every 5 years (I’m due now).
  2. I carry a variety of insurance policies, including Life Insurance to enable an executor (called a personal representative in Alberta) to quickly pay out any short-term liabilities, as well as Critical Illness Insurance in the event I became ill and required cash for treatment or assistance in property/asset management. (My broker is {NAME} of {COMPANY} in Edmonton.)
  3. A comprehensive Commercial Property Policy through {INSURANCE COMPANY} names you as an insured beneficiary on each property. My (our) broker, {NAME} ({COMPANY}), can be reached at {PHONE} or {EMAIL}.
  4. Significantly, title for townhomes owned is presently in your name alone; I have chosen not to register our Joint Venture Agreement(s). This is a clean title which would make it easier for you to sell or refinance if I were out of the picture. AND brings up an important point: If you have moved since we acquired a property, please reply to this email with your current address so I can ensure it is properly updated at Land Titles. That way, if anyone searches title, they’ll know how to find you.
  5. My (our) real estate accountant is {NAME}. He’s amazing and has access to all financial information related to our properties. He can be reached at {PHONE} or {EMAIL}. (You are, by the way, welcome to contact him anytime with any questions related to our accounting.)
  6. My (our) real estate broker is {NAME}. He’s a good man and an accomplished investor himself. {NAME} has access to trusted industry experts if, for example, a property manager were required, or an asset sale contemplated. {NAME} can be reached at {PHONE} or {EMAIL}.
  7. Our Alberta real estate lawyer is {NAME} of {COMPANY}. He and his staff are knowledgeable, affordable, and communicate well. {NAME} can be reached at {PHONE} OR {EMAIL}.
  8. My (our) renovator is {NAME}. He knows all of our properties intimately and our tenants love him! {NAME} is like a partner. I trust him completely. {NAME} can be reached at {PHONE} OR {EMAIL}.
  9. Finally, I have a technology partner named {NAME}. You’d like {NAME}. We are working on an online business/ministry network together. He either has or, in the event of my demise, will have access to all other electronic files. {NAME} can be reached at {PHONE} OR {EMAIL}.
So, if I weren’t here, should you continue renting or try to sell? That’s another good question, and I’ll address it in another email (because this one is already too long!).
Please file this in a folder called something like: “I hope I’ll never need this email again, but just-in-case”.
Jeff Gunther

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