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How to Avoid Disaster

I was supposed to publish two weeks ago, but a potential disaster intervened.  I say “potential disaster” because the unthinkable did not happen – but it could have.  And, there is a lesson for you in my “potential disaster.”  Here’s what happened ….

I came into my office on a Saturday afternoon intending to tie up some loose ends and do some writing (including this blog).  After about 10-15 minutes, I noticed that my computer was becoming increasingly sluggish.  Finally, everything froze while I was attempting to open my email program.  So, I did what most of us have done in similar circumstances – I decided to turn my computer off and restart it. And, that’s when the real trouble started.  When I pushed the power button to restart my computer, nothing happened.  Nothing, zip, nada.  I pushed again, and again, and again.  Dead silence.  I simply could not start my computer.  No access to our office calendar, client information, documents, or financial data.

As the reality of that set in, I started to panic – but not for long.  That’s because we have a plan in our office for exactly this kind of situation.  We have redundant backup systems, including an offsite backup (in case our office burns down).  Once I realized I wasn’t going to get my computer going that Saturday, I started the process of restoring our most recent backup to another computer in the office.  And, when I came into the office on Sunday morning, our critical files were restored and operational.

To cut to the end of the story, I was able to finally restart my computer – the problem turned out to be an $8.00 battery on the motherboard – and after a couple of days of tinkering, everything was back to normal.  Unfortunately, I missed my publishing deadline.

By now, you are probably wondering, “that’s great David, but what does all of this have to do with me?”

Thanks for asking.

Just like my malfunctioning computer, bad things will happen in your life that are simply unexpected at the time.  Illness, disability, and death are ones that immediately come to mind.  Each of these is a “potential disaster” in the making for you and your family – unless you take the time to think things through, decide in advance how you want to handle these situations, and then create a plan that your family can follow.

At a minimum, your plan should include: (1) who will take care of your kids, both for the short term and the long term; (2) how you will pass your financial assets on to your spouse, kids, family, and/or charities; (3) who will make health care, legal and financial decisions for you if are disabled; and, (4) how you will pass on your whole family wealth – your values, advice, stories, and history – that would otherwise be lost when you are gone.I talk to many young parents who think that nothing will happen to them – and it most likely won’t for a very long time (although death is certain for us all).  But, the unexpected could happen to you tomorrow.  Will your family know what to do?  Will they have someone to guide them through a difficult and confusing time?  Will they be financially secure?  Will they have a piece of “you” that they can treasure forever?  Are you willing to risk that “potential disaster,” when it is so easy to avoid?

If your answer is no, click here to find your Personal Family Lawyer.  Your Personal Family Lawyer is ready to help you get started with your backup plan.


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The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC

At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

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