Heading on a vacation of any length often requires significant planning. Frequently, individuals arrange things like who will water the plants, who will retrieve the mail, and who will feed the pets. While many people might not think about it, it is a wise idea for individuals who embark on a trip to also conduct estate planning before leaving home. In the case that an unexpected tragedy happens, these plans help to make sure that a person’s affairs are in order. This article will review some of the important estate planning tips that individuals must remember to follow before taking a vacation.
Review Existing Plans
If you have an existing estate plan, you should make sure to revise it before taking a vacation. Some of the events that require an estate plan to be updated include death, divorce, and marriage. These events can result in a person’s estate plan nominating an individual who will no longer be able to take on the responsibility, which is why it is a wise idea to make sure that an estate plan applies effectively to a person’s current situation. While many of these updates include removing beneficiaries who have died or become incapacitated, there also other changes that will need to be made.
Update Estate Plans Involving Minor Children
Among the many estate planning provisions that a person should review prior to a vacation, it is critical that statements regarding the care of any minor children reflect your current wishes. If something happens to a parent or guardian and there are no statements in estate plans about how children should be care for, courts will determine who should be appointed to care for the children. In many situations, it is not to just name a primary caregiver. Instead, a person should also make sure to name a secondary caregiver in case the first caregiver is unable to help. While parents or guardians often do not need to discuss these documents with children, it is often a wise idea to discuss the general terms of an estate plan. The better-prepared children are in case a tragedy occurs, the more likely that children will be able to accept this plan, which can decrease the emotional difficulties that minors experience later on.
Organize Estate Planning Documents Properly
While the digital era has helped individuals create estate planning documents much more easily, there is a risk in some situations that there might not be a paper trail regarding a person’s estate plan. As a result, before taking a vacation, you should make sure to email estate planning documents to all involved parties including personal representatives. It is also a wise idea to make a backup of your documents in case a computer is lost or damaged during travel. If there are original estate planning documents, they should be placed in a safety deposit box or other secure but easily located place.
Speak with a Seasoned Estate Planning Attorney
Attorney Jim A Lyon has helped many people navigate the numerous situations involved with estate planning. While this might involve people who are creating estate plans for the first time, other individuals need assistance making sure that these plans are adequately updated. Contact our law office today to ensure your estate plan is properly written.