Death is inevitable! Death is a necessary end that we must all meet. But what happens to your business or blog in the event of death? Yes, you heard me clearly. Nobody wants to die; nobody loves to be told he’s going to die soon. Yet people die every day and their families miss them forever. Once death is mentioned, fear grips the heart of men. There are a lot to be done – books to write, money to be made, beautiful women to marry, houses to be built, businesses to set up, degrees to acquire, to mention a few. Hence people want to avoid the issue of death, consciously or subconsciously.
Yet death sneaks in like a robber to take its captive. The reality of death stares all of us in our faces, but we are damn too afraid to face the truth – death would surely come someday. But the question is, at what stage would it come? On what day should we expect it? At what age should we be ripe enough to die? And the simple answer is, nobody knows for sure.
Every day people die – some on the road, some on their beds, some on the sea and some while travelling by air. It just comes whenever it likes without any pre-information. The potential victim hardly knows that the end is near. And the loved ones hardly have the premonition of the impending sorrow to befall them. We all walk about unaware of when the cold hands of death shall come to take its next target. Yet something inside us tells us that death would one day come like a bandit. And the next question we should ask ourselves is what happens to your business in the event of death? Would it still function or would that mark the end of the once vibrant business?
In the event of Death
This question is important because we have seen so many flourishing businesses suddenly liquidate at the death of their founder. There was nobody to succeed the owner. No one was trained to take over. There was not even a will kept by the owner to direct the family on how to share the company’s properties/assets, etc. We have also seen a couple of businesses flourishing after the demise of their owners because there was a solid foundation laid somewhere that ensured continuity.
Whether your business continues or whether it dies all depends on what you do now that death has not knocked on your door. If you face reality and do what is expected of you, then there is hope that your business would continue even after your departure. But if you shy away from the truth and continue to pretend that all is well, I am afraid, your business might become forgotten the moment you close your eyes in death.
What you must do
There are some basic things I think we should do to forestall a situation where our investments become crippled in the event of death. Some of the steps to take include:
Raise a successor:
You need to raise a successor that should manage the business in case of eventuality. Such person should be inducted into the system as an employee or as a learner who is attached to the system to learn how the business is run from day to day. Should any tragic thing happen, he would have been given a proper orientation that should enable him run the firm effectively and efficiently.
Write your will:
Teaching somebody how to run your business is not enough; you must write a will defining who does what in case of an eventuality. If you do not have a will in place, tendency is that family members might not allow the person you have trained to come close to your investment the moment you are dead. Once there is a will, he would have the legal backing to manage your portfolio.
You need to trust someone. It’s either such person should be your spouse, child, friend or lawyer who could provide useful information on how to recover your business secrets. For example, if you die without revealing the password of your online business or blog to somebody, that could as well signal the end of the business. It means that the person should be told your password or you should simply provide him/her with the password to your important email addresses through which your recovery passwords could be set. Be sure to let one or two other members of your family know that you have given some secrets to such person. Then make a legal entry so that the law can compel such person to disclose what needs to be disclosed without him having to claim your investments.
Besides revealing your email password, there might be need to let them know of the number of investments you have and how to go about running them should death suddenly come calling. If you have pass-worded documents in your PC/laptops or there is an administrative password on your Laptop itself, there might be need to reveal such so that your important documents don’t get locked up permanently. Get rid of your fears and trust somebody with those secrets because if you eventually die and your family loses everything you worked for, that in itself would be worse than your fears.
Google Inactive Account Manager:
Google recently came up with a policy allowing you to disclose who should be allowed to take over your important files/business online in case of your death. Remember to use the Inactive Account Manager to inform Google on who takes over in the event of death, because it would really help to settle this matter.
It is good to plan for the moment of death than to never take any steps because of fears or because we are shy to face reality. Once you have put everything in place, you can rest assured that the question as to what happens to your business or blog in the event of death has been properly answered even before it comes.
I know that this is an emotional issue, but I would like to hear from you what you think about this topic. Should one prepare his business for eventuality or should one leave nature to take care of things? Your personal opinions could help us to know the right thing to do. So don’t fail to express your own mind. Please share this with your friends and make sure they take a stand on this as well.
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