If you are planning a vacation, you probably have a lot to prepare for before you get away. Between structuring your itinerary, getting plane tickets or train reservations, and booking hotels, creating an estate plan is probably not something you thought to add to your to-do list. But, think again and consider that now is the time to take action on this vital piece of your legal life planning.
If something were to happen to you while away on vacation, whether an illness, injury or even death, your family would be stuck with a huge mess to clean up.
The Barber family is an unfortunate example. Melanie and Casey Barber, a couple from southern California, and their three sons, then ages 3, 5, and 8, were on vacation in Arizona when a defect in their car tire caused the vehicle to lose control in a horrific accident. Mom and dad died, and their three boys were injured, but pulled through.
It took the authorities a couple of days to locate any relatives, during which time the boys were in the protective custody of strangers. A fate no parent ever wants for their children in a time of tragedy, fear and grief.
The family member that was located first was a sister of the mom, and she promptly took the boys back to her home, where she then didn’t let any other family members see the boys.
It took many hundreds of thousands of dollars and at least seven lawyers to sort out the family fighting that ensued over both the boys and the assets left behind by the Barber parents.
And it all could have been easily avoided with a small amount of planning in advance.
Making the commitment now to create a comprehensive estate plan will ensure your loved ones will not be stuck in court or conflict, if the unexpected happens while you are on vacation.
At least 6 weeks before you leave, schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session with us. During that Session, we’ll get you more financially organized than you’ve ever been before (ensuring none of your assets are lost if you are injured on your vacation) and guide you to make informed, empowered and educated choices for yourself and the people you love most. If you are leaving sooner than then, call our office RIGHT AWAY and let us know you need a rush Family Wealth Planning Session. We will see what we can do to get you started.
Whatever you do when it comes to summer vacation plans, please don’t make the mistake of thinking think a standard set of estate planning documents will serve you or your family. What you and your family need is a plan that properly addresses the care of your children (if you have minors at home), your assets and the parts of your life that go beyond just the money. We can explain more and answer all of your questions during the Family Wealth Planning Session.
Don’t wait any longer – give our office a call. You can reach Paula, our Client Services Director, at 978-263-6900. She’ll be able to answer your questions and schedule a time for you to come in to meet with us.
David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area. David helps parents protect the people they love the most. If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,” you can get it right here.