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Is your family prepared for the unexpected?

Is your family prepared for the unexpected?

5 Minute Read

It is necessary to develop a plan to protect your family and your business if you are incapacitated by an accident or urgent health crisis. However, the subject can be uncomfortable to discuss — and many do not have a plan in place to handle unexpected events.

You can get started by asking yourself:

  • What information your family needs to make informed healthcare decisions
  • How to protect your family finances during an emergency

Learn what steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected and how tools such as a LifeBook™ can help support your family during an emergency.

Senior Manager, Family Office Services

It is crucial to have a plan in place to protect your family and your business when the unexpected happens. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about, an accident or sudden health crisis could leave you incapacitated — and your family will need to make decisions in your absence. This has the potential to disrupt both your business and your family without careful planning.

Let’s discuss the questions you should ask yourself to prepare for an unexpected health crisis. We’ll also provide an overview of several of the challenges that families face during an emergency — and how tools such as a LifeBook™ can help ensure your family is prepared for the unexpected.

How can your family make informed healthcare decisions?

Ask yourself: if you were hospitalized, what would your family do? Do you know how medical decisions are made and have you established what your values and preferences for medical treatments are? Do you have a plan? If you are too sick to communicate at the time, does your family know what to say to the doctors on your behalf, where to find your plan — and are they prepared to execute it?

Unfortunately, most people avoid preparing for the worst-case scenarios and can’t answer these questions. Consequently, family members experience considerable anxiety and stress when serious illness happens, and they are unprepared to engage with doctors or move forward with the rest of their lives when their loved one is sick.

Let’s start by looking at how healthcare decisions are made. Many people are not prepared for the decisions they have to make when navigating a health crisis. Consider your values and preferences for medical treatment in the event you contract a serious illness.

It is important to communicate those preferences to your family members, so they are not left guessing your wishes during an emergency. This also helps prevent the risk of receiving medical care that is not right for you.

Asking yourself the right questions can help you think about your healthcare options and walk you through the decision-making process. Do you want medical treatments that focus on prolonging your life, or medical treatments aimed at maintaining the quality of your life? Do you want doctors to do everything they can to keep you alive for as long as possible, or do you prefer a natural death without being attached to machines?

We know — these are difficult questions to answer. But in a health crisis, they will need to be answered. Thinking about your options and building a plan now means your wishes will be known and your family will have the direction they need to make informed decisions, should something happen.

Family Office Services

Your family is unique, and so is your business. A tailored approach can help you navigate complex family dynamics, capitalize on opportunities to maximize your wealth, and secure your family’s future for generations to come.

How to protect your family finances during an emergency

The other side of the equation involves your family’s finances. If you’re the financial lead for your family, you may know where all the critical information and key documents are saved. But if you’re incapacitated, your family will scramble to find what they need and may miss key information.

Consider these areas:

  • Do you have a comprehensive list of bank accounts, investments, and contacts?
  • Is your personal insurance information easily accessible?
  • When is the last time you reviewed or updated your will and estate plan?
  • What are your liabilities and where is that information stored?
  • Have you shared this information above with loved ones?

These are a handful of questions that have to be considered during a health emergency. It can be overwhelming to think about, and even if you do spend time compiling your information, are you confident that you’ll capture everything that could be required in an emergency?

Using tools such as LifeBook™ will help you get a clear line of sight across your financial affairs, what you own, and what you want to do with your assets — all held in one place. This helps you overcome obstacles that may occur during an emergency and provides peace of mind to your family members.

A LifeBook™ can help you address these challenges:

Access critical information

All too often, family members, executors, and powers of attorney (POAs) are left scrambling to find important information in the event of an unexpected illness or death. This information may include the details of your insurance policies, birth certificate, will, and passwords to access your accounts.

A LifeBook™ stores all the information that your family, executor, or POA needs in an accessible digital resource. This helps provide continuity for your family and your business if an emergency takes you away for an extended period.

Provide operational continuity

You know how to keep your business running smoothly — but your family members, executor, or POA may lack crucial information about your operations. This includes details such as how to pay vendors, manage payroll, or maintain business property.

A LifeBook™ includes an operational guide to prevent disruptions to your business. It can also include a contact list and guide for working with the business partners, vendors, or contractors that you need to keep your business running in your absence.

Achieve peace of mind

Your family members may feel like they do not have enough information about your business or your finances to handle an unexpected absence successfully. It is vital to take the right steps and address these concerns to give them peace of mind and the confidence to act if required.

A LifeBook™ advisor can help identify what your family needs to feel comfortable handling an unexpected event. This helps determine what information needs to be included in this resource and how to make it accessible to those who need it. This helps alleviate their concerns, maintain family harmony, and reduce stress if an emergency happens.

Take the next steps

It can be difficult to think about what would happen if an emergency took you away from your family and your business. However, it is necessary to create a plan for the unexpected to ensure your business and your family are protected while you are absent.

Contact us

To learn more about LifeBook™, contact a member of MNP’s Family Office Services team. Our advisors will work with you and for you to navigate key decisions and milestones for your family and your business.

Michelle D. Coleman CPA, CA, TEP, CEA

Lifebook Champion

Allan Broudno

Senior Manager, Family Office Services


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