Very early in the morning on a recent day, a client in another part of the country called. As I picked up she quickly said “I could not wake him up this morning. The ambulance just left for the hospital. Wanted you to know. Gotta go!”
I blurted out right before she hung up “Take your cell phone with you. We will call in a couple of hours.”
As a service business and a planning firm, it’s important that we actually plan for circumstances like this. We have systems and procedures for exactly what to do.
We powered up our electronic files so we would be ready to send their legal work to the hospital as soon as we knew where it needed to go. The hospital needed the health care power of attorney and a copy of the living will.
When the client called back, we told her to go to the admitting station nurse’s area and hand them her cell phone. We got the secure contact information and sent the documents. Our client was then legally empowered to make the decisions that needed to be made.
As she took back the phone we said “We are here to listen. Let us know what you need.”
“He had a severe stroke during the night…..they just don’t know enough yet!”
“You know we are on the next plane if you need, right?”
“Thanks for that but I really think I can manage this situation now. The kids will be here this afternoon. I’m fine for now.”
A WEEK LATER
“We are going to be moving him to a Skilled Nursing Facility as a precursor to a local nursing home.”
We started the insurance claims process to pay bills and provide income. We got ready to produce more cash flow to cover the costs of care and the extra expenses of travel and hotels.
TWO MONTHS LATER
“Steve now I need you to come out. This is going to be a long haul and I can’t manage the homestead by myself. We need help to sell the place and get me relocated into town. We need to review our retirement plan. I need your perspective. It is hard to make these kinds of decisions alone.”
“I’m on my way. We will work this through together.”
Part of being an independent service and planning firm is that we can really deliver when called upon, even in tragic circumstances. If a tragedy occurs, we are here to make sure that you or your family are never alone at that moment.
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