A key component to developing your continuity vault is to create a list of your emergency contacts. These are the folks that will step in and help if needed. Your emergency contacts may be your beneficiaries, your broker dealer, your continuity partner (if you’ve named an outside individual to step in and run things until you can return), a legal designee, or another individual.
Emergency Contacts Fulfill Critical Roles
You may want to consider only granting certain “access” privileges to certain contacts. Think about who can best handle the different needs in a crisis – maybe your beneficiary isn’t the correct person to handle key business decisions or functions. Remember too that these individuals will need to be able to work efficiently and effectively – and oftentimes TOGETHER (if you name more than one emergency contact) – in a time of grief and chaos.
Questions to Consider as You Designate Emergency Contacts
- Who can run the company in your absence?
- Who should take over your responsibilities?
- Will this person(s) be expected to fulfill their original responsibilities too?
- Is there a chance this person (or any other key executive) would resign if something happened to you?
- Who can this person lean on for support?
- Who will have the authority to make major decisions?
- Who will sign the paychecks (and perform other related tasks)?
- Is anyone currently intimately involved with strategic planning or the business decisions that are made?
It’s obvious why choosing the correct individuals becomes critical. The future of your business is going to rely on their ability to act quickly and in a responsible manner. Just as you would name a guardian for your minor children, view this as naming a guardian(s) for your business.