Vacations are a great way to get away with family, have fun and make great memories. If you are preparing for your summer vacation, don’t overlook the importance of preparing (or updating) your estate plan. Give yourself peace of mind as you travel, while minimizing the potential stress your loved ones would face if something were to go wrong.
Below is a list of the things you should have in place, or review, before heading out on the road:
Will. Even those who do not have many assets should have a Will in place. Don’t put everything that you have worked for at risk by traveling without an estate plan.
Trust. If ensuring that your loved ones won’t have to deal with an expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming Court process is important to you, then creating a revocable trust should be top of mind. If you’ve already created a trust, before you leave for vacation, be sure your assets are titled properly into the name of your trust, or your trust will not work the way you had planned.
Guardians for Minor Children. If you still have minor children, or you have an adult child who will need ongoing care, you will want to be sure you have planned for their future by naming both long and short-term guardians. Checking your existing plan to be sure the person you have named as guardian still makes sense for your current situation, will provide you with the comfort of knowing your children will be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what.
Incapacity Documents. Remember that estate planning is as much about preparing for incapacity as it is about preparing for death. Be sure to have:
- Durable Power of Attorney – gives authority to someone to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf.
- Health Care Proxy – gives authority to the named parties to make medical decisions for you.
- HIPAA Authorization – allows the person named to have access to your medical records.
Beneficiaries. Be sure your beneficiary information on life insurance policies and retirement accounts is current. Updating your beneficiaries to reflect your current situation and the situation of your loved ones will ensure they are taken care of just as you wanted when you opened your policy.
Digital Assets. Be sure you have a list of usernames and passwords for all online accounts, such as 401k, retirement, bank and college saving accounts. Include social media accounts. Be sure a trusted family member knows where this list is kept so accessing information is relatively simple.
We are Here for You
Whether you need to have an estate plan created, or you just need something modified, we are here for you. Please contact us to discuss your current estate planning needs, and get everything in order before your big vacation!