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In Case of Emergency Illinois Attorneys

A small non-profit recently experienced the death of the Executive Director. She was young, in reasonably good health and juggling many priorities. Over the course of a month, being tired turned into fatigue. Fatigue was diagnosed as a compromised immune system. Pneumonia set in. Her immune system shut down. And, this vibrant woman passed away. Just like that. No real warning.

We never like to think or talk about it, but when an emergency strikes, it’s important to be prepared.

Have you determined someone to take over for you in case you have a medical or business emergency that will take you away from your business or family for an extended period of time?

Does that person know how to access important business and personal documents, email and bank accounts and other information that would be required to help during your absence?

Most importantly, is the information easily accessible? Does your designated person know where to find it?

And, do you have a plan in place in case of emergency? Does your family have a phone tree identified so that close relatives and friends can be contacted? Does your firm have a process or protocols in place so that the business can march on?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to put ICOE in place for your personally and in your business.

Here are first steps:

  • ICOE your cell phone – There are several free apps that can be downloaded to your phone that allow you to identify your ICOE contacts. (Note: First Responders are trained to check.)
  • ICOE your personal information – During a medical emergency, it’s important that health care professionals can access your health care information and advanced directives.All of our Estate Planning clients are provided access to¬†DocuBank, an online service that provides a secure place to store personal health care information with a user card that can be placed in a wallet that gives the health care community access to vital information with a click of a mouse.
  • ICOE your firm – Do you have ICOE information on all of your employees? Is it updated regularly? Do you have a process and protocols in place to keep the information secure yet accessible in case of an emergency?
  • ICOE your process – Do you have processes in place so that your team can take over during an emergency? Does your team know what those processes are and who is temporarily in charge?

It’s not something we like to think about, but it is important to have access to vital personal and business information. It could be the difference between life and death AND the difference between business continuity or failure.

A stark reminder that being prepared can make the difference.

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