The Surroundup


  • by Andrew Hawryluk
  • March 25, 2021

Family running on a beach

I’m going to ask you to imagine something beautiful.


Imagine something you could do – something very easy and small – that would preserve and even build harmony in your family.  Something that would avoid unnecessary confusion, conflict and unhappiness. Something that would leave your spouse feeling much better about herself or himself. Something that could make your family wealthier financially and in every other sense.

What is this little something?  It is a few small details.  That’s it.  It is a few small details that you share with us, so we can help you realize all of the beautiful visions above in the event of your passing.

Because – as we say in Element #4 of The Surround Manifesto – small details are a huge deal.



Imagine, for example, a client who does not tell us, or his family, about some stock certificates held in a safety deposit box for years which only he knows about – and then the family realizes upon his passing that tens of thousands of dollars are lost because the stocks would have been worth something many years ago, or represented a larger potential planning opportunity.

Imagine a family cottage which is a place of harmony and calm, yet ultimately must be sold against the wishes of some in the family because the family didn’t properly figure out how to deal with the transition which would occur on the passing of the parents.

Imagine the discomfort experienced by a spouse, after her spouse is gone, when she has to attend to a raft of details she has never had to confront before (online banking, paying bills for the first time, applying for a credit card for the first time, and many other firsts), and now begins to question her capabilities as a result. It is actually quite easy for us to imagine, because this unfortunate and avoidable scenario is something we have seen and continue to see.

Now I’m going to ask you to do something else:  share the details with us.  All of them.  Even if we don’t manage all aspects of your wealth, we need to know all the details because they are all pertinent to your estate.  There are some details that you might think are unimportant for us to know – but fact is, they are all important.

Then, let’s make sure that your legal documents say what you actually mean, and not just what the lawyer thought you meant. All too often, wishes are not made clear.  Let’s make sure that your intentions match your wishes.

Let’s also make sure the people you are putting in charge of carrying out your wishes have the skill set, time and desire to do the job. It’s a big job (with some potential pitfalls) that you want to be very judicious about assigning.  So, here’s what I will ask you to imagine on this front:  how much better equipped you’ll feel after attending our webinar, The Role of the Executor, at 1pm ET on Wednesday April 14th.  (Signup information coming soon!)

You may remember Keith Masterman from the webinar he did for us last year on the Seven Deadly Sins of Estate Planning.  His presentations are fantastic. Last year we all noticed how many notes our clients were taking.

Also – and we are really excited about the value this will bring to you – please have your executor attend the webinar if at all possible. Click here to register.

If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with small details and the value they bring our clients.  Along with the entire team at Surround, I really do believe they’re a huge deal – and in the context of your will, the greatest investment of your lifetime.

March is Manifesto Month!  On social, we’re talking about our Manifesto’s seven elements.  Check out our posts on LinkedIn.

Want to talk about any aspect of this month’s blog? Want to register for the April 14th Executor event on ZOOM with us?  Contact me at or 1 905 515 8713.

PS here are some testimonials from clients who attended Keith’s webinar last year:

  •  “A very interesting choice of topic and Keith was very knowledgeable and provided examples backed up by legal cases and his own experience. Thank you.”
  • “It was a most interesting and helpful session. Thank you.”