If you die tomorrow, where’s your contingency plan?

In a lot of major corporations the CEO and the President of the Board of Directors are not allowed to travel together. The same applies to the President and the Vice President of a country.

But what about families?

This was the question we were discussing with my husband while driving home after dropping kids at their grandparents. Freeway; driving 130 kms (±80 miles) per hour; cars passing each other…

If we think about it, mother and father are as important for kids, as the CEO and the President of the Board for a company. However, it never even occurs to take different cars or planes or “diversify” risks in any other way. But actually why not?

There is also another aspect to it: contingency planning. The essential tool of risk management when risks, although unlikely, would have catastrophic consequences if materialized. Procedures to follow in the event of a disaster.

Once again in major corporations there are always procedures thought through as to how the company needs to operate if something happens to their leader. There are contingency plans in place.

And what about our “little corporations”? On the family level this aspect is more than frequently overlooked or left to chance.

Some people (usually closer to retirement) have a written will. A good starting point. The only moment here is it should actually not wait until retirement. Some might argue that yes, for those with a large portfolio of assets all that makes sense, but “if I have just one apartment / house and a couple of thousand on the bank account, it is not for me“. But it is. Which is more, contingency planning is not only about who gets a car and how kitchenware has to be divided. It is more the instructions, help, assistance for those who remain to ensure that at least practical things are easier to be sorted while your loved ones are going through the pain of a loss. Just if. Even if unlikely.

It is not easy to talk about it; not even easy to think about it. However,

I wonder if it isn’t an obligation of us, as parents to actually think all that through as early on as possible?

Let’s face it, anything can happen to any of us…

With my husband we don’t have all those things completely sorted out either, but at least yesterday in the car we both agreed that it definitely makes sense and that we are getting to it a.s.a.p. The idea of a contingency plan after all is not to execute it. Ever. Hopefully never. But if…


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