Do You Have a Sudden Death Checklist?

We do often give some thought to what happens when we pass away, especially the aftermath that involves our family and our close friends. We may plan for this carefully and with a lot of forethought. Those with complicated estates may set up a power of attorney, take out a life insurance policy, draft a will, and many other common precautions that people take when they want their friends and family to be provided for after we pass on.

On a personal level, these are some of the things that I have taken care of, to ensure some peace of mind that most things on a personal level will be taken care of when I die. On a business level, however, I must admit I have never given this much thought until recently.

I had to ask myself what would happen if something were to happen to me when it came to my business. This is something I’ve worked hard to accomplish and hard to maintain for many years – my colleagues also matter to me. What falls upon their shoulders if their boss suddenly passes away?

Recently my company built the website for the Sudden Death Checklist book. Perfect. Someone has already thought of all of the many things that I need to do to ensure that my business is taken care of in the event of a tragedy. I’m definitely going to spend a weekend reading this book (and following the steps) to give myself some peace of mind. As complete and as thorough as I think I am, if I tried to come up with my own checklist, I have a feeling that I may omit some important things. I had never considered the ramifications of a sudden death for my business. This has been (pardon the pun) a real lifesaver.
Fundamentally, what are three things that someone should have on their business Sudden Death Checklist? If you are like me, you probably don’t have all of your passwords written down in a “safe place,” as is so strongly advised. Mine are all in my head. How could anyone attempt to unlock my financial documents stored deep in my laptop if they don’t have the password?

Therefore, it truly is a good idea to have all passwords to everything – including the wireless router – written down and stored in a safe place.

Secondly, it is important to have all of the key financial information in one place – stocks, bonds, accounts – all of that financial information needs to be quickly accessed if I suddenly am not around. Whether the information is kept safe with a spouse or key advisor, it must be accessible.

Thirdly, I realized I had quite neglected anything to do with my business when it came to my will, so I had a new one drafted. Everything to do with the business was now included, so that there would be no confusion over who was responsible for what in the event of an emergency. For me, I chose my spouse to take over the reins, but I also have an advisor in mind in case of a complete family emergency.

This is one of those things that no one likes to think about, but it’s necessary. I want to my business to live on after I do, and it’s something I need to take care of to ensure that it does.

Have you considered these things? What gives you peace of mind when you do?

Come In From The Cold

While the winter may have been slow in getting here, after the first true snowfall of the season, it’s hard not to notice that the temperature has been steadily dropping outside. One of the best ways to combat Jack Frost and thrive during a New England Winter is by having your home properly insulated. If you struggle with heating costs during the winter or are just tired of living in a drafty home then you should check out EcoLogic Energy Solutions. They’re a client of ours who offers homeowners a way to dramatically reduce their energy consumption with spray foam insulation. Recently, they added the following three pages to their site which you should really visit if you struggle heating your home.

Process and Safety of installing spray foam
Savings and Efficiency from installing spray foam
Spray foam FAQ

Adding Google Plus One Button to your Website

Google +1 integration is pretty straightforward, although these can often be complicated by the fact that most businesses don’t directly manage their own web content or rely on a trusted, efficient vendor to update their website in a timely fashion.
Continue »

gmial, gmail, whatever…

Thought I’d share as I had to do a double take! I mis-typed and got this wonderful offer, complete with google-colors and derivative footer design. I almost proceeded until I saw the URL I’d been forwarded to:

Good stuff! They bought and have it set to forward to their phishing site. Users answer questions and provide their info and Lord knows what happens then. I’m not sticking around to find out!

Energy Efficiency Canvassing in Connecticut

CRI mailer If you live in New Haven, Connecticut, chances are you may be getting this circular in the mail. Connecticut is one of the states that offer rebates for home energy audits and energy-efficiency retrofitting such as improved insulation, leak-proofing and water-saving measures. The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, in a partnership with United Illuminating, has contracted Competitive Resources, Inc. – a local home energy-efficiency company – to bring these services to the wider public. Under the terms of the partnership, CRI has begun canvassing neighborhoods in order to bring their services closer to New Haven residents and make signing up more convenient and pain-free.
You can sign up by talking to any CRI field technician that you see in your neighborhood, and also by calling toll free 1-888-403-3500.

Can I sell alpacas or other livestock on eBay?

I got curious about this in a discussion about a project and tried using their help. After wasting a few minutes trying to get a specific answer from their automated chat system, and after reviewing their help documentation, I gave them a call.

I was told that I’d have to speak to someone else, and that the policy people would have to answer this.

By being logged in, and then choosing “my listing was removed”, and initiating a chat, I’d get around their automated chat and be in touch with their listing policy people.

I did as instructed and got on a chat with nancy.

So no live animals. I figured I’d ask the next question that would be pertinent to the project.

So there you go, you can get (animals) laid on eBay!

List of 8 food dyes linked with ADHD

The FDA has come a long way in making foods and drugs safer for America. A big part of their success has been the prevalence of the labeling of a goods contents. Some are proposing the FDA take their labeling a step further and start providing warning labels on foods that use the following dyes. It’s also interesting of note that these same dyes are banned in Europe.

Yellow #6
Yellow #5
Red #40 (Most Common)
Red #3
Orange B
Green #3
Blue #2
Blue #1

Its all because there have been claims that these dyes can cause ADHD in some kids. Check out the story on for more information and to see what types of food these dyes are used in.

Hint: a lot.

ZipCars Go Municipal

The City of New Haven, CT is looking for ways to scrounge money.

Public Works Director John Prokop told the New Haven Advocate that the city is considering a pilot program to ditch its fleet of municipal vehicles and start using ZipCars for official business. The city currently owns 25 Chevrolet sedans, many of which are well into the six digits on the odometer. The cars are expensive to maintain and fuel, and some of them hold together with spit and baling wire.

By switching to ZipCar, the city expects to score savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars; similar programs have launched in a number of cities nationwide, without obvious negative results. Connecticut auto transport companies will miss hauling inoperative government vehicles back to the parking lot, but applaud any responsible way for the city to save the long-abused taxpayer a few bucks.

Energy Conservation Services From Competitive Resources Inc.

Energy conservation is a topic that has become part of the nation’s consciousness in recent years, and with very good reason. And like most things, energy conservation starts in the home, which is the philosophy behind Competitive Resources Inc.

Competitive Resources Inc. or CRI, got it’s start in Connecticut twenty years ago and now they help over 8,000 CT homeowners save money on their energy costs each year. They do this by performing residential energy audits, where they inspect different areas of the home for inefficiency. They’ll search for air leaks in windows, doors and air ducts and will even provide more energy efficient light bulbs when needed. Continue »