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February 2020

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Preparing for the Unexpected

Greg Mattacola | Articles

Read Time: 2:00 min

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Be sure your family is prepared for the unexpected, learning from tragedy

I admittedly was never a monster Kobe Bryant fan.

It’s not that I had anything against him; I always admired his intensity and skill, but he just wasn’t my guy. I know I’m dating myself, but I loved the original Showtime Lakers with Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Rambis and Byron.

I loved their battles with Boston and Bird.

I listened to my father tell me not less than 500 times that Coach Pat Riley was born in Rome, New York and we had to root for him. So, those were my guys and anyone who came after them – meh.

That all being said, this past Sunday’s news truly saddened me. I’ve been in a funk since and it’s taken me a bit to figure out why.

Why was this tragedy bothering me so much more than the endless stream of horrible news stories that I’ve grown almost impervious to? The answer I’ve reached is that it was the presence of his daughter Gianna and the other young girls — Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester.

The thought of the parents being powerless to protect their children in those horrible final seconds and how scared those girls had to be – it’s more than I can or care to imagine. Something happens when you have and raise children – their safety and well-being trumps yours. It just does. You’d step in front of a bullet and/or take every hardship imaginable, just for your child to be safe. So, this tragedy? Yes, it hits home. Of — course it does, it’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

Time will ebb the shock and horror. Life and its endless stream of challenges will put our attentions elsewhere after a while. It has a way of doing that. But while our attention is here – it’d be irresponsible not to point out a few things. Because, as awful as being the spouse or child left behind is – it’s that much worse if things weren’t in order financially. The greatest gift you can give those you leave behind, on top of a cache of loving memories, is that you planned and provided for them so they can focus only on their grief and their love for you.

How does one do that?

Make certain you are properly insured and that your life insurance beneficiaries are current. Consider all you would have done for your spouse and children had you lived as planned. Make certain that all your financial accounts are titled properly to pass from you to your loved ones more easily. Ensure that college accounts are on track. And get to your financial advisor and your attorney and make sure your estate plan is current and accomplishes what you intend it to – including but not limited to setting up trusts for the children you leave behind.

These things are not fun. Not one bit. In fact, they are a giant pain in the wazoo. Most people procrastinate this more than going to the dentist. However, when you complete them, it allows you to get back to what you really want to be doing – spending quality time with those you love. Laughing with them. Being with them. Loving them.

If this crash reminds us anything, it’s that no matter your money or legendary status – tomorrow is not guaranteed.

So (1) – Hug your kids close. (2) Kiss your spouse or partner. (3) Take care of your business. And then go back and repeat steps one and two.

Live well, live with love, until next time.

Original content provided by Gregory Mattacola, Esq., Financial Advisor at Strategic Financial Services. Content is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as the basis upon which to make investment or financial decisions.

About Strategic

Founded in 1979, Strategic is a leading investment and wealth management firm managing and advising on client assets of over $1.8 billion.