When planning to go on vacation there are many steps that go into the planning, such as making hotel or airbnb arrangements, confirming rental vehicles, buying plane tickets, and figuring out what to do when you get to your location. Although, there is one thing most forget to plan for… the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately when traveling, especially to foreign destinations, you are much more likely to be exposed to illness, injuries, and even in some cases, death.
Before you leave for your trip, make sure your estate plan has been updated and is legally sound in the event that something happens during your vacation. Otherwise, your loved ones may face a legal nightmare if something should happen to you while you’re away.
Here are 5 critical estate planning tasks to take care of before taking your next trip:
1. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date
Assests, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, do not transfer through a will or a trust. Instead, they have beneficiary designations that allow you to name the person (or persons) you’d like to inherit the asset upon your death. It is important to name at least two beneficiaries, one primary and one alternate, just in case one passes away before the other. After you first chose these beneficiaries, you must always review and update these, especially after major life events, such as marriage or having children.
2. Create power of attorney documents
Illnesses and injuries may leave you incapacitated and unable to make serious decisions on your own. To make sure you are covered in such an event, you must grant someone the legal authority to make these choices for you through the power of attorney. Two of the documents you should have are a medical power of attorney and financial durable power of attorney. The medical power of attorney gives the person of your choice the authority to make your healthcare decisions for you, while durable financial power of attorney gives someone the authority to manage your finances. As with beneficiary designations, these decision makers can change over time, so before you leave for vacation, be sure both documents are up to date.
3. Name guardians for your minor children
If you have minor children, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have legally appointing guardians to take care of your kids in the case of your death or incapacity. The guardians you name should be people who you trust immensely to raise your children and take care of them until they reach adulthood if something were to happen to you.
4. Organize your digital assets
Make sure all of your digital accounts, like any social media pages, emails, and other online services you use are organized. If these assets aren’t properly inventoried and accounted for, they’ll likely be lost forever if something happens to you. You should write down the location and passwords for each account and ensure someone you trust knows what to do with these digital assets. To make this process easier, consider using LastPass or a similar service that stores and organizes your passwords. Also, be sure to check the different social media platforms you use as some allow you to designate a person you trust to have access to your account.
Complete your vacation planning now
If you have a vacation planned, be sure to add these 5 items to your to-do list before leaving. And if you need help completing any of these tasks—or would simply like us to double check the plan you have in place—consult with us at The Solution Law Firm, P.A.
We recommend you complete these tasks at least 8 weeks before you depart. However, if your trip is sooner than that, call and let us know you need a rush Family Planning Session, and we’ll do our best to fit you in as soon as possible. Contact us today to get started.
This article is a service of The Solution Law Firm, P.A. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.