|Sydney Tremayne, author, journalist on three continents, investment advisor and government official. His first book on investing was a Canadian best seller. His most recent book, The Estate Manual, puts a human face on estate planning. It encourages readers to take charge of all the personal details -- documents, bank accounts, real estate, training an executor.
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Sydney Tremayne enjoyed successful careers as a journalist on three continents, as a government official ("Whew!" is his only comment), and as investment advisor. His first book - on investing - was a Canadian best seller, which he says sounds far more important than it is.
"I freely admit it: I'm shy " but I''ve learned to hide it " except when an editor asks for a bio. But, you know, shyness is a fear, a fear of not being accepted. I have learned to deal with fears by facing them head-on. Snakes, SCUBA diving, and to some extent shyness. I used to stay silent if there were as many as two other people in a room. I felt dumb because of that silence, but when I felt I truly had something to say I would gabble it out at high speed, not at all expressing my views, and feel even more embarrassed.?
His most recent book, The Estate Manual, puts a human face on estate planning. It encourages readers to take charge of all the personal details -- documents, bank accounts, real estate, training an executor. Dry stuff, to be sure!
But then there are other key items many people overlook in their estate plans. Details necessary for the proper care of pets. Facts about the house that will make it easier for a spouse or subsequent owner.
Do you know why it's important to have two executors? Why someone outside the household needs to know, among other things, where Fluffy likes to be scratched? And how to avoid a whole lot of stress over ordinary house keys?
It's all in The Estate Manual; an organizer with forms designed so no detail should be left out and ensuring your family avoids an extra layer of stress when you die. He deals with aspects of estate planning not usually covered by attorneys or estate planners, because they are matters that typically have not been quantified until now.
As you read what he writes, you instinctively know two things: he knows what he's talking about, and he cares about his readers.
"I used to think that I didn't like people, because I am a very private person. I hate crowded rooms and parties; both set my teeth on edge! Writing, also, is a very solitary pursuit. Yet, when I was a part of the investment industry, my greatest satisfaction came from being able to help others. Health forced my retirement almost three years ago, and former clients still call to see how I am, or send cards. The investment business is very personal. When people trust an investment advisor, they tell them things they would not tell even their spouses. I guess that's because money, or what it can do, is very personal, too."
Now there's an electronic version of The Estate Manual: THEMES (short for The Estate Manual Electronic Service). It is not a program you have to load on a computer (it's accessed through a central computer and passwords), and if you can write an email to the grandchildren, you know everything you need to use it. It comes with shatterproof security (sensitive information is not on any computer, anywhere), a 12-month guarantee, and new chapters every three months for at least the next two years. And now a monthly newsletter is in the works, with editorial contributions from some of the best legal and tax minds in North America.
During the coming months, as our latest columnist, perhaps we will all get to know him better.
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