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The Envelope Please . . .


This is about the moment when the 55-year-old, visibly healthy-looking bread winner of the family collapsed at work and was hauled off by the EMS to the emergency room and appeared to be in a coma.

It looked grim. The guy had been hit by a massive stroke. The family naturally gets into a tizzy about what will happen next are in a panic. The people are work wondered what would come of them and the business.

But there was this “envelope” that he had told his chief assistant, his wife and his oldest son about. They grabbed the “envelope”. It had his living will and advanced directives in there. There was a sheet of paper containing all his account numbers for every kind of retirement and bank account, C.D., life insurance and disability insurance information and his agent’s cell phone number. All his personal user names and passwords for every credit card account and even the information to be able to access his social media accounts like F.B., LinkedIn and Twitter. His attorney information was in there too, but the family knew who that was because every two years they all sat together for an hour to make sure was known about the plan in place. The attorney had set up everything right. The main people at work knew that they were going to stick with the company because they had all agreed to a succession plan that rewarded them for sticking with the family while the disposition of the business was decided. Everybody would still get paid this Friday, just like normal. You see, this person was prepared for the unexpected and wanted all his teammates and family to be fine and move forward if something happened to him.

Now they all felt worried and concerned about their boss, father, brother and husband, but there was no wondering what would happen. They could just sit by his side as the doctors worked their hardest to produce a miracle for the patient.

As miracles would have it, three weeks later the lucky man was back at work and they had not missed a beat. They had not applied to work at other places and every teammate seemed more loyal than ever having survived the scare. But they also admired their boss for taking such good care of them.

This is what we all should have prepared for ourselves. A personal note. My best friend had his super-healthy 82 years old dad die several years ago. This is how well-prepared his dad was. It was smooth. Also, the tax savings due to the professional handling by his estate tax and financial plan was amazing.

Not like my dad, who died suddenly at age 53 without a will. Or, my mom who died having exhausted all her life’s wealth on long-term care. I love them both, that was not what they intended to do. My mom and dad were loving, dedicated parents and they were heroes to me. They were as smart as anybody and lived a life of great intentions. But, it happened the way it happened.

I am proud to be prepared because of what I learned.

Jeff Annis

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