Who's Your Person?

Patrick Cote |

By: Kate Hennessy

If I’ve learned anything over the past five months - life is unpredictable.  I’ve come to appreciate the importance of focusing on what’s within your control, because there’s a whole lot of life that is out of our control.  Although I do not take life or my family for granted, it wasn’t until recently that I asked myself “who’s my person?” You may be scratching your head thinking, what is she talking about?  By definition for this article – “a person” is someone that can step in and help when life throws you a curveball.  That curve ball can be loss of a job, sick child or spouse, or loss of a loved one. 

In most homes each spouse or partner has natural responsibilities that make the household work.  Oftentimes one spouse/partner focuses on finances and the other focuses on managing the home. When the unpredictable happens and one spouse passes away, the other spouse can be left with a puzzle to put together.  

Over the past year and half our family has experienced sudden loss. I’ve thought to myself what would happen if the unthinkable happened and my husband passed away. Who’s my person?  Do I know where the estate planning documents are located?  Who will help me raise our young kids?  Some common examples of people that can help are an executor for the will, guardian for any minor children, and trustee for any trusts. It turns out that as I thought about my answer, I came to realize that I have an amazing extended family and friend network that I trust and who would naturally step in. So, I have people that I trust, not just one person.  I have a circle of trust.

Even if you have lots of people, identify in writing who your trustee is for your trusts and your guardian is for your minor children. If you find yourself with a puzzle to put together, lean on your people and let each step in to help.  This will allow you to focus on what’s within your control.