My friend/colleague Jerry Panz has a file for his officers/staff named "When Jerry Goes to See Jesus", to assist them in the event he dies unexpectedly. To quote Jerry, "the members should be left with some suggestions about how to proceed." Good idea for us all to have one of these, if don't already.
Instructions in his file include:
1) Be happy. I am!
2) Don't panic. I have all of the emergency issues covered here. You should:
3) Call an emergency Board meeting to appoint a staff person as acting CEO - the COO is a good choice. (Pay the person more because of the extra work)
4) Signature cards are changed annually with the election. You might want to add the COO as a signatory but do notify the bank of the last checks that I signed for each of the accounts.
5) Notify the CPA (name – phone #) Tell him that you may need his help and that you will notify him as to “who” the acting CEO is.
6) Call legal counsel (name – phone #) and get the password to open the following file: (filename)\Passwords.doc. There are other files that are protected in the Previous Years folders, too. The password for those files is the Password document.
7) Notify state and national association of my death and who is now the acting CEO.
8) Decide on a Search Committee NOW. It may take months to decide and the current staff person already has a full-time job!
9) (Staff name) is also able to enter the safety deposit box but only historical information is stored there. Change the signature card as to who else may enter.
10) I have two building keys—one on my key chain and one in my wallet. I also have a key to the locked filing cabinet in my office. You need to get them.
11) In the (location) is a blank file with keys to the building, the petty cash box, and the locked box in the storage room near the (location) where all of the office keys may be found.
12) The checklist for doing the month-end account for each entity can be found at (filename)\Month End Checklist. You will also want to look to see if I have started the monthly accounting for the (subsidiaries) by looking in my locked file for the three folders for (subsidiaries). Finish the checklist and close the month in (accounting software name). It is best accessed and followed by someone with accounting experience. The month must be closed in (accounting software) under Tasks - System – Change Accounting Period. (Name of CPA), CPA will find an employee/temp to help with this as necessary.
13) Change (membership system) database to reflect “who” is the current CEO. Have someone check (national membership system) for the change the day after the transmission.
14) There is an insurance policy on me paid by the corporations. Also I have a personal life insurance policy through the health care policy. (Name) is the beneficiary for both. Please also remind her to contact (insurance provider) about the car, life and house insurance. Remind her to contact (personal attorney) about another life insurance policy, too.
Any thoughts on what else needs to be in the file? (Note: clearly you can replace the "who to see" with own preference/belief)