Heading On Your Trip Of A Lifetime? Add Completing Your Estate Plan To Your Packing List
Americans are traveling more and more as the world shrinks. With online booking as the mainstay, we all have the power to take care of our arrangements from our living room. As you plan your vacation, you think about creating the experience with research and reading reviews, but have you thought of your estate plan and whether it is ready when you need it or not?
Before You Place Your First Item In The Suitcase, Here Are Some To-Dos For You Before You Take Off:
Complete Your Estate Plan
Knowing more than 60% of Americans have not prepared their estate plan, it’s likely you are among them. Now is the perfect time to just bite the bullet and get it done. Do not allow cost to stand in the way of being prepared. You can begin with the most basic items for now: a Will; a Power of Attorney; and Advance Health Care Directives.
Update An Existing Estate Plan
Perhaps something has changed in your life since you prepared your estate plan? Are there new grandchildren or marriages? Has there been a divorce? Any one of these can signal a reason to have your plan reviewed.
Establish Guardianship For Minor Children With A Comprehensive Kids Protection Plan
Before you go away anywhere, be sure to have a plan in place to ensure the well-being and care of your kids. You MUST have guardians identified with this plan because if the will is the only place you name them, your kids could be at risk of being cared for by strangers while the authorities figure out what to do if the unthinkable happens.
You have named beneficiaries of your retirement accounts, life insurance and other assets. Are they current? If they are not, your assets will not pass to them upon your death. If you have minor children, you will need to prepare a trust and name the trust as the beneficiary so that probate will not be needed to transfer your assets to them.
Review & Update Health Care Documents
Obtaining a durable power of attorney for health care and a HIPAA Authorization are critical. These will determine who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable to. They also make clear who may access your medical records in case of incapacity. Get these completed before you travel and be sure the people you have named (if you already have these) are still valid.
[Read: Before You Go Travel Tips]
If you aren’t sure where all of these documents are in your home, you can be sure the folks who will need them won’t be able to find them either. Create an organized file of all of your accounts and estate planning documents. Then, make sure you tell your family where to locate them in your house just in case they are needed.
You can get the ball rolling on these documents now by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two contacts who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today at (480) 418-8448 and mention this article.