I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about what would happen to my family and business if I were to become incapacitated or even to die.
And it’s a sobering thought.
Those thoughts invite two kinds of action:
- Avoidance of the issue entirely, or
- Doing something about it, so that my family is not left in a lurch.
May I point out that second option is far preferable in the eyes of those who you love than the first?
Here’s a video that I’ve created that raises some questions you may want to consider. Questions that will help you assess how well you’re doing in this area.
No, I’m not trying to sell you anything, just to get you thinking.
Watch it, download and print out a copy of the slides, spend some time thinking about it, preparing, and talking about it with those you love.
Download the Personal Disaster Planning slides
Then, let me know where you end up. I’m very interested in hearing what you’re doing to prepare, what I’ve left out of this list, any tools you’re using and how you’re actually going about this process.
Please tell us about those by leaving a comment below. And don’t forget to like and tweet this post!
After the Great Darkness of 2011 that occurred in San Diego yesterday, I had plenty of time to think in the dark (no internet, no cable, no lights, no power it felt like I was camping in the heat in my living room!)
I ran across your email that led me to this post and thank you for putting it together. I saw neighbors walking around the block that I had never met because of how busy our lives are. But when you are forced to slow down, an unprecedented power failure that shut down the 8th largest city in the US qualifies, you start to realize how many things you take for granted and having a plan is on the top of the list.
I shared this video with my G+ and facebook friends in the hope that it reaches someone else who took stock of their responsibilites last night.
Creating a disaster recovery plan is something every entrepreneur needs to do. Your video has got me thinking. Thank you for posting this.
Great advise Don! One more thing to add is take photos of your home room-by-room for insurance or your business. With the weather we are having around the country. Down load all your important papers and photos or videos to dropbox.com so then you have access to all your documents anytime.
Great topic Don and an eye opener! Thank you,
As important as I know this information is I have still not done all the things listed. I lost both parents unexpectedly and am left with extreme responsibilities of figuring things out between my siblings and I. If I had taken the time to discuss the importance of documenting their wishes my life would be so much more “relaxed”. Speaking with my father’s brother yesterday morning, who is executor over that side of the family estate, I asked who knows the family estate business as he does? He replied no one, and isn’t enthusiastic about sharing the information with me. He’s now 89 and a cigarette smoker. I must find a way to convince him to share what he knows…before it’s too late.
Thank you for the encouragement, Don.
So true, so many people have no ‘personal’ system as a back up plan to kick into place if need be.
The online passwords and access got me thinking…hmm…..need to have a closer look at this myself.
Great video, thank for sharing Don.
thanks Don, a very useful reminder to keep all that information up to date and have a plan that reflects current/future circumstances rather than the past.
The kind of planning you discussed in this video is most important and an incredible service to your tribe. Most will put it off because it is time consuming and not the most pleasant topic to dwell on.
I spent over 18 years in the financial services industry. My practice involved the sale of all lines of insurance, real estate investments and securities. If my clients didn’t already have the necessary professionals on their team, I referred them to excellent CPAs and Attorneys. I jointly met with my clients in their initial meeting with these professionals to make sure their needs were fully uncovered, fleshed out, addressed, and made sure that appropriate plans were put in place.
Having professionals handle this for you can get you through the tremendous complexity of estate and succession planning without taking an inordinate amount of your time (and believe me, it will feel like a big hit on your time when you begin the process, even with professionals on board).
Not everyone can afford this kind of help, however. If people are of modest means, or are just starting out, they can go online and purchase books from Nolo.com and other publishers that will walk them through the process. There are also para-legals in most towns and online who can assist people, guiding and overseeing the work so that they are assured they produce documents that will stand up in court (if need be).
One other thought. Most people think that when they are gone, that is it, they are no longer involved in their loved ones lives. NOT SO.
Not planning for the possibility of a sudden and incapacitating illness and the inevitability of death will, when it occurs, often turn the lives of their surviving loved ones into a nightmare.
Who in their right mind wants to be connected with a negative memory like this that is likely to last for years, maybe decades (ever wonder how the family of John Wayne and Jerry Garcia feel about their loved ones dying intestate — last I heard these estates have still not been settled!)?
It is amazing how much positive control and influence one can exert from the grave with insurance, properly drafted wills, trusts and other legal devices. Depending on ones resources, you can influence the outcome of your family’s financial future for years, sometime decades.
This is one of the best investments anyone can make. I rest a lot easier knowing that my children and wife have been protected to the best of my ability, and that of the professional team who helped us.
Nearly three years ago my dad passed away, and I’ve experienced the ease of settling an estate when everything was taken care of ahead of time. Believe me, you don’t want to be on the other end of settling an estate that hasn’t been properly set up in advance.
Thanks for taking the time to bring this to people’s attention.
I agree with the importance of working with professionals to get all of your documentation ducks in a row. It cost us about $3000 to do so, but it was WELL worth it, especially since it allowed us to make choices on things that otherwise would have been determined by the courts and to do things in a way to help generations to come. Frankly, it’s exciting to think of how a few hours of work with lawyers and accountants could literally bless the lives of several generations of our descendants!
Awakening Video, Dan!
You hit things that are crucially important but nobody wants to talk about. Thanks for reminding us that it’s not enough to build an empire, we also need to protect it for ourselves while alive, for our loved ones should we pass on, and even for posterity.
I salute you!
Thanks for bringing this content to us with such passion and concern. Even those of us that think they have everything covered can find ares of improvement that could make a huge difference in the survivor’s lifes. Well Done!
Thank you for the helpful information! I really enjoyed this and it gives me a lot to think about. I need to do some planning and give my husband (and maybe my parents) the ability to do well if something were to happen to me. I’ll share this with others! 🙂
Well done! I am a firm believer in this kinda detail and discussion, you did a great job of detail and information. Happy to share this wide and far 🙂