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Estate Planning Before You Travel: Why It's Critically Important

Vacations can be the perfect opportunity to relax, disconnect from work and responsibilities, and relax with family and friends. But before you head off on your next getaway, there’s something else you should consider doing—creating an estate plan. While it may not sound like the most thrilling activity, here are some reasons why you need to think about your estate plans before you travel.

● An estate plan ensures that if you have any medical issues while you’re away from home, they will be handled the way you want. So, if you get sick or injured and can’t make medical decisions for yourself, your estate plan will ensure that decisions will be made by the person you choose to advocate for you and who you’d trust to make the best decisions about your care.

● 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 if you’re married, you don’t need an estate plan. That maybe your spouse would automatically be able to handle everything. Or you might even think your Will is enough and would cover any situation that comes up. But none of those things are generally the case.

Even if you’re married, your spouse could also be sick, injured, or unavailable. Or your spouse could encounter red tape from medical staff, particularly in a foreign country. A medical power of attorney can fill in that gap to make it clear that you want your spouse making medical decisions for you and potentially adding in additional decision-makers in case your spouse is unable to make decisions for you. Your estate plan can also spell out anyone back home that you’d want to be able to get information about your medical condition. And if worst comes to worst, your Health Care Directive can let your decision-maker and your doctors know exactly what you would want them to do if you faced a terminal condition.

Finally, if you have minor 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. Your plan likely won’t work the way you hope if it isn’t completed, isn’t updated after it’s been done once, or isn’t completed properly. The only real guarantee for the people you love to have as much ease as possible is if you work with an experienced attorney specializing in estate planning. 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 exactly 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 can deliver you peace of mind knowing that whatever comes your way, you and your loved ones will be cared for in the best possible way.

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.

This article is a service of The Law Offices of Chris Pryor. 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’s Future 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’s Future 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.

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