When “What-If” Happens to Your Family

September 24, 2018

A few weeks ago, our financial services team traveled to HD Vest Investment ServicesSM headquarters in Dallas for training and team building. Although we’re often learning new tools and strategies individually, it’s not frequent enough that we get to do so collectively and be reminded just how much we enjoy each other’s company. It was time I looked forward to.

The evening before I was scheduled to leave, plans changed. I got a call from a family member about declines in an aging loved one’s health – we’ll call him “Henry.” Growing mental confusion resulted in some odd behavior, and there was serious concern about Henry’s future decision-making abilities. I decided it was best for me to forego the trip to Dallas to help navigate this challenging situation.

Henry’s health and behavior troubles escalated quickly over the next few days. Fortunately, we were able to put emergency powers of attorney in place and transfer investment accounts prior to his admittance to the hospital. These necessary steps enabled the family to remain informed about his care and make decisions in his best interest to secure financial stability. In retrospect, it was the right decision for me to remain in Oklahoma City and confirmed the critical importance of what we do for the families we serve. The experience also was a good reminder to be flexible and trust that there’s usually a reason why plans change. We’re all here for a purpose greater than ourselves, and sometimes you just have to be willing to respond and get out of your own way.

This was not the first time the timeliness of our services has hit home. Many years ago, I was privileged to work with a family for holistic financial planning. In fact, they were the first family I led through this process. Together, we created plans for financial independence, purchased life insurance policies, and completed critical estate planning documents to divide family assets and name legal guardians for their two young children. Roughly two years later, the full extent of the plan had to be executed when both parents passed away due to natural causes within six months of each other. I carry the weight of that with me every day and every time I meet with a client.

I know it’s cliché to say that “tomorrow is not promised,” but it’s true. I lose sleep over clients and their families not having adequate plans in place for the “what-if” situations. I know financial planning feels like something you can put off – until you have more time or more assets or need to pay for college – but this should be an urgent task on your to-do list. Because you just never know what tomorrow holds. A financial plan can help your family flourish even when “what-if” happens.

 

Blog by Kyle Brownlee, CEO.

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