Be prepared

May 10, 2018  |  Geno Fragnito

Be prepared

Be prepared. It’s the beginning of a statement that can be completed with infinite endings and apply to anything in life. It’s no coincidence these two words are the motto for millions of boy scouts and girls scouts around the world. How many times have you heard these two words in your personal or professional conversations? Probably too many to count.

That being said, have you ever paused and asked yourself, “Am I really prepared for what’s to come?”

Recently, I was appointed to serve as conservator of an individual who is unable to make decisions on their own, and needed someone to oversee and manage their financial matters. Not having served in this role before, I researched the responsibilities of a conservator and found a long list of requirements. Some responsibilities I knew, while others required me to study and learn new skills. Either way, I felt I had done everything I could to prepare for this responsibility.

When I later learned more about the individual’s situation and realized there were many things I hadn’t known about, I realized my preparedness only took me so far. I had to seek additional resources in order to make informed decisions. But, I realized that being prepared for what was known helped me be ready when I was faced with the unknown and unexpected.

Many of these skills also apply to my role as government relations director at the MNCPA. I use my conversations with members, as well as the work developing the MNCPA legislative agenda, to prepare myself for the bills and debates that will occur during session. However, in my work at the Capitol, I have learned to expect the unexpected. So, when an unexpected bill is introduced or a surprise amendment is offered in committee, I can rely on what I know and seek out the information I need to address the unknown.

Being prepared increases your success, whether it’s in your personal and professional responsibilities. That’s why it’s important to assess whether you’re truly ready for the future. There are a few questions you can ask yourself, or your clients, to take one step toward being better prepared and reduce the stress for you and family members when the unexpected happens.

  • Have you assessed your personal finances and are they in order?
  • Do you have a living will? Is it up to date?
  • Have you asked another professional to review your situation to look for gaps?
  • Do your family members know how to access your personal documents?
  • Do your family members know your wishes?

Unexpected things happen to all of us. I wasn’t expecting to add a new role to my list of responsibilities, but I knew it needed to be done. But, with self-reflection and support, we can prepare for what is known to be better prepared for the unknown.

Topics: Personal Financial Planning, Estate Planning

Geno Fragnito

Geno Fragnito is the MNCPA government relations director, advocating on behalf of the CPA profession. His days consist of last-minute meeting changes, building relationships with lawmakers, helping CPAs navigate state government, and putting in more than 15,000 steps per day walking the halls of the Capitol. Geno unwinds with a little golf and traveling with his family. If he weren’t a lobbyist, Geno would perfect his cast and be a professional fisherman. Geno can be reached at 952-885-5550 or

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