There’s no denying it. Whether you’re a business owner or not, 2020 has taught us that we all need to be prepared, at least for the unexpected, if not for a full-fledged emergency. COVID continues to present challenges in the US and worldwide. Here in the Northeast, difficulties persist – we’re nowhere near back to life as we knew it before the Coronavirus. That said, we are experiencing a respite as many counties have moved into the yellow phase of reopening.
How shall we use this valuable time?
Integrating all that we’ve learned this year, there are three areas of focus that I suggest we bring our attention to as we prepare for the future.
- Read your legal documents. I mean really, really read them. Is your Will current? Is your Power of Attorney (POA) accurate? Do you need to make changes to your Living Will or Healthcare Directive? Since the virus started, I also put a Secondary Power of Attorney in place. Why? Well, my husband is my POA. What if we were both hospitalized at the same time? Since initially creating our Personal Contingency Plan, I’ve realized that we both need secondary POAs and an overall backup second-in-command. Do you need to speak with your attorney about establishing a secondary POA?
- Read your insurance policies. I know. You’ll be doing a lot of reading. In our area, right as we were approaching the yellow phase, a two-part destructive storm rolled through on a Wednesday around lunchtime. There were hundreds of trees down in our area, leaving many of us without power for three or four days. Trees blocked roads, crushed cars, and fell on roofs. Appliances were fried due to power surges and attempts to bring power back online. Regardless of the coverage, you discussed with your agent; it is up to you to ensure that the coverage is explicit in your policy. Not to mention, your needs may have changed since you purchased the policy.
- Determine who you will ask to be your second-in-command. Will it be the same person for your professional and your personal business? Make a list of at least three people who come to mind and grade them on:
- Ability to navigate ambiguity.
- Trustworthiness (this one is a deal-breaker if you can’t give them a stellar grade).
- Emotional strength. Will they be able to keep life running smoothly while you’re out of the game, temporarily or longer-term?
- Process-orientation. Can they keep track of a lot of moving parts? Will they proactively follow-up?
- It’s a big job. Can you train them for both your professional and personal business? Or will you require two different people?
Taking these three steps may feel like traveling and unknown winding road, but at a minimum, if you take action in just these three areas, you will most certainly be better prepared for whatever 2020 still has in store for us. 2020 may not rank as our favorite year, but we certainly have learned an awful lot about life and our ability to navigate the unexpected.