How much should I tell my clients??


B

Beth

Earlier this year we were discussing dealing with health
problems during tax season with our family/staff. I
mentioned that my husband (my input/assemble person) was
waiting for a liver transplant and had very specific orders
not to get one during tax season.

Well, a little over a week ago, the call came for the
transplant. Unfortunately, he started hemorrhaging and did
not survive the surgery.

The tax portion of my practice isn't huge (about 250
returns), and a lot of my clients I feel are friends too
(not all close friends but still friends) Some of them did
know Fred, also. I don't know how much I should or
shouldn't say as I start meeting with people again on
Monday.

Beth
 
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W

Wayne Brasch

Beth said:
Earlier this year we were discussing dealing with health
problems during tax season with our family/staff. I
mentioned that my husband (my input/assemble person) was
waiting for a liver transplant and had very specific orders
not to get one during tax season.

Well, a little over a week ago, the call came for the
transplant. Unfortunately, he started hemorrhaging and did
not survive the surgery.

The tax portion of my practice isn't huge (about 250
returns), and a lot of my clients I feel are friends too
(not all close friends but still friends) Some of them did
know Fred, also. I don't know how much I should or
shouldn't say as I start meeting with people again on
Monday.
First of all, let me say I am sorry for your loss. Since
you consider your clients to be friends, as I do, tell them
whatever you feel comfortable doing. They may ask about
your family, as many of my clients do. That means they
really care as any good friend would.

Wayne Brasch, CPA, M. S. Taxation
 
P

Phil Marti

Beth said:
I don't know how much I should or
shouldn't say as I start meeting with people again on
Monday.
My condolences on your loss.

Unless your client clients inquire, you need thell them
nothing unless there's going to be a change in the service
they've come to expect. With friends who happen to be
clients, I'd ignore the setting, not bring up the subject,
and respond as you would at home.

Phil Marti
Topeka, KS
 
G

Gene E. Utterback, EA

Beth said:
Earlier this year we were discussing dealing with health
problems during tax season with our family/staff. I
mentioned that my husband (my input/assemble person) was
waiting for a liver transplant and had very specific orders
not to get one during tax season.

Well, a little over a week ago, the call came for the
transplant. Unfortunately, he started hemorrhaging and did
not survive the surgery.

The tax portion of my practice isn't huge (about 250
returns), and a lot of my clients I feel are friends too
(not all close friends but still friends) Some of them did
know Fred, also. I don't know how much I should or
shouldn't say as I start meeting with people again on
Monday.
My condolences for your loss. I have no idea how I would
function during tax season if I lost my spouse this time of
year - and she doesn't even work in my office.

I wouldn't go out of my way to say too much of anything, but
don't dodge a direct question. If asked, you could simply
say something like "Fred had to have surgery, there were
complications and he passed away."

Regards,
Gene E. Utterback, EA
 
G

Guest

I don't know how much I should or
shouldn't say as I start meeting with people again on Monday.
My sympathy and best wishes to you and your family, Beth. If
you live in a small town, most of your clients will have
seen the announcement of your husband's death in the
newspaper. Otherwise, you may want to send out an e-mail,
letter, or postcard saying something to the effect of "you
may have noticed that we're moving a little slower in the
office this year. My husband Fred recently passed away after
a liver transplant. While this is a hard time for me
emotionally, I expect to be progressing as normal in getting
your tax returns done. Thank you for your patience" Those of
your clients who are concerned about how you're doing will
ask you and you don't have to bring it up at all. Plus, it
buys you a bit of leeway should you find that you can't get
out of bed one day.

Jan Zobel EA
Oakland, CA
 
C

CLJ1219

I don't know how much I should or
Beth,

My sympathy to you and your family.

A few years ago our family lost two precious newborn
grandsons. A few of our clients knew (I was out of the
office some during that time) but most did not. Several
clients told me later that they missed me. I had one, whom
I still need to apologize to, who asked me if I had a good
Christmas. My grandsons were born on December 1, one died
December 2 and the other died on December 9. No, I did not
have a good Christmas. I snapped at the client but never
explained why I didn't have a good holiday. I guess what
I'm trying to say, is like someone else said, be honest when
asked. If the clients want to know where he is, answer
their questions. Just don't bite their heads off. <G>

They will ask. Just answer as honestly and fully as you are
comfortable with. If possible, if your office is large
enough, you might want someone else to give the clients a
heads up about what is going on.

I'm assuming that you were out of the office recently. What
were the clients told at that time?

Carol
What can one expect of a day that begins with getting out of bed.
 
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N

Nan Eklund

My husband was known to most of our first clients so when he
died, it was the death of a friend, co-worker, or
acquaintance. So I talked about it, and even shared some
tears.

Since then my partner and I have told clients in our
Christmas letter whatever happened in our families. Not a
long letter, , but...father died, sister died, had another
grandchild, etc, etc. We get anything from shared tears and
congratulations to total indifference. But when you've been
in business over 30 years, some clients have become almost
family. And some are not. I think you have to share a bit
more than a desk....

Nan, EA in LA
 

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