Vacations can be the perfect opportunity to relax, disconnect from work and responsibilities, and enjoy your spouse, kids’ or friend’s company. But before you head off on your next getaway, there’s something else you should consider doing that might not sound quite as fun—creating an estate plan. While it may not sound like the most thrilling way to spend a day, here are some reasons why you need to think about your estate plans before you travel.
- An estate plan ensures any medical decisions needed while away from home will be handled according to your wishes, and with as much ease as possible, no matter what the rules are where something happens. If you fall ill or become injured and can’t make medical decisions for yourself, your estate plan will ensure that decisions will be made by the person you choose, and with your indicated desires for your care at the forefront.
- Without an estate plan in place, your family or friends could have a heavy lift to get you back home, locate your assets, keep your bills paid, and even ensure your children get taken care of by the right people in the right way.
- Lastly, an estate plan ensures that any debts or liabilities are taken care of properly in case something happens while on vacation. This can help prevent creditors from trying to collect from surviving family members after the fact — something no one wants to deal with during such a difficult time.
Yes, Even Married Couples Need an Estate Plan
You might think that because you are married, you don’t need an estate plan. Or you might even think your Will is enough and would just handle everything. But that’s generally not the case.
Even if you are married, you still need medical powers of attorney, making it clear that you want your spouse making medical decisions for you, or even potentially adding in additional decision-makers. You still want a Living Will to give clarity on how you want medical decisions made for you. In Georgia, these two traditional documents are usually combined in an Advance Healthcare Directive.
Finally, if you have dependent children, you want to ensure you’ve made it as easy as possible for their care needs to be continued by the people you want, in the way you want. Without a plan in place, decisions around their care could be tied up for months, including access to the financial assets their caregivers would need to ensure they have what they need along the way.
The Benefits of Working With an Attorney
While you can create an estate plan without legal assistance, there are serious risks to the people you love, if your plan is not completed, not updated after it’s been done once, or not completed properly. As a Personal Family Lawyer® firm, we understand what needs to go into a thorough and complete estate plan — as well as the potential pitfalls or issues that could arise due to your unique personal and family dynamics — so you can rest assured knowing everything is being taken care of properly before you embark on your trip.
As a Personal Family Lawyer®, we can advise you on other important documents such as Wills, Trusts, powers of attorney (POA), health care directives (HCD), and guardianship paperwork (for minor children) so you can make informed decisions based on what you want to have happen if you become incapacitated or die. All these items should be considered when creating an effective estate plan — especially when one or both parties will be traveling outside their home country at any point.
Don’t Let a Lack of Planning Dampen Your Vacation Spirits!
Taking a few simple, yet critically important, steps now can save you and your family considerable headaches down the road if anything were ever to happen while on the road—not only do we want you to enjoy each moment spent together, but we want peace of mind knowing that whatever comes your way is handled according to your wishes!
We can help put a plan together now so that you don’t forget about this important task before packing up for your next adventure. Making sure all your affairs are in order will ensure nothing stands in the way between you and enjoying time together! Contact us today to get started. Please note that you should allow at least six weeks between when you contact us and when you can expect to have a full estate plan in place. If you just want a power of attorney or advance directive on a rush basis, we can usually get that done more quickly, though it won’t address all of the issues notes above.
This article is a service of Daniel O’Connor, Personal Family Lawyer®. We do not 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 Wealth 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 Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.