Before You Pack Your Swimsuit. . .
With most of the world finally back open to visitors, people are more eager to travel than ever before. Whether you are planning an African safari, a Caribbean cruise, or the ultimate Patagonia adventure, your pre-travel checklist should always include a review of your estate plan and related documents. So, before you pack your swimsuit for your next vacation, follow the steps outlined below.
- Call Your Estate Planning Attorney. Often, clients wait until the week before their trip to contact their attorneys about putting together an estate plan. Although it is possible to prepare and execute a set of estate planning documents within a week, it is preferable to give yourself time to consider your estate planning options and make thoughtful decisions. Depending on the complexity of your estate plan, it could take anywhere from weeks to months to complete your plan. For that reason, as soon as your book your trip (or well before you book your trip), give your attorney a call to discuss your estate plan.
- Review or Execute a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy and Discuss with Your Agents. Clients are sometimes surprised to know that their “estate plans” include documents that are effective during their lifetimes. Financial Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Proxies allow you to name an agent who may make financial decisions and healthcare decisions, respectively, on your behalf. These documents are often coupled with a Living Will and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Authorization, which will guide your agents in their decision making and give them access to essential information about your health. Before you embark on your next voyage, you should not only execute these documents but also advise your designated agents of your travel plans, your banking information, healthcare wishes and, crucially, where the original documents are located. You may also wish to send copies of the documents to your agents. In the unlikely event of an accident, your agents should be ready to act and know where to find your Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, Living Will, and HIPAA Authorization.
To read the full post, please visit our Future Wealth Navigator blog.