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?