In Case of Emergency
In case of emergency…
It’s the scenario we don’t want to think about, but it could happen to any of us in the morning. If you suddenly became ill or incapacitated, what would happen to your practice? Would your family and colleagues know what to do?
During my career in the accountancy profession, on several occasions I was called on to step in to help when a practitioner became ill or died suddenly. The grieving family had little notion of how to go about handling their loved one’s affairs.
But there are things that you can do to minimise the additional stress that might be caused by this situation. By putting in place a few simple processes, you can make life easier for those who might be left to pick up the pieces. And it is especially important if you practice on your own with no partners or colleagues.
Here are a few ideas.
Make a list of people who should be contacted in the event that something happens to you. These should include clients (first name), your supervisor, and the name of another practitioner who is willing to see your clients on a short term emergency basis. Place the list in a sealed envelope and tell someone where it is. You’ll need to update it regularly.
An alternate is another practitioner who has agreed to fill in for you with your clients, should you be pulled out of your practice at short notice. While this applies in the event of a sudden illness or incapacity, it might also be prudent to put in place for when you take a long haul or extended holiday. (Remember the volcano ash cloud and how many people got stranded abroad?) The time to talk to someone is not when the emergency has happened. The best time to do it is now! You can read more about alternates here and more about what should be in an alternate agreement here.
Personal Affairs Checklist
Would anyone know where to find your bank statements, or where you keep your will or other legal documents? If you’re like most people, your personal filing is probably sporadic at best! But you don’t need to change what you do or where you keep things, Chartered Accountants Ireland has a great checklist that you complete, noting down the location of the most common items that might be needed in case of emergency. You can find it here.
Have you made a will? Many people in Ireland grew up with the belief that making a will was tempting fate. However, if you have ideas about how you’d like your estate to be left, you should get it down on paper. Don’t skimp on costs by doing it yourself, it’s a small cost to have it done professionally, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that your wishes will be observed. If you don’t make a will, your assets will be distributed according to law. Ask your solicitor or local citizens information office for details.
If you’d like to explore any aspects of your therapy or counselling practice, I’d love to help you. Contact me here for your free 20 minute consultation.