Everyone loves to plan a getaway. Whether it is a weekend away at the beach or a month-long backpacking trip through Europe, making lists before you leave is essential. You already have your packing list, itinerary, and instructions for the pet sitter. You may have even purchased travelers insurance in case of bad weather, travel delays, or medical emergencies. But what about your estate planning list? Just like travel insurance protects against risks and financial losses, so does your estate plan. To help minimize your pre-travel stress, here is our list of estate planning “Must-Do’s” before going on vacation.
- Create an estate plan. This is a great time to stop procrastinating. Consider using your trip as your deadline, but leave adequate time to get your plan in place. It can take around six to eight weeks from your initial consultation to your final signing appointment in our office.
- Review your current plan. Already have an executed plan? You are ahead of the game! Now is a great time to review and update the plan. Major life events that can affect your plan are the birth of a new family member, the death of a loved one, illness, marriage, or divorce. These changes can affect who serves as your trustee, executor, guardian for minor children, or financial and healthcare agents.
- Pack your DocuBank emergency card. DocuBank gives immediate access to your HIPAA authorization, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and Living Will. You can also store important medical conditions, allergies, and medication lists so you do not need to travel with these items. Remember, Sinclair Prosser Gasior pays for your first year of DocuBank as a new estate planning client. If you don’t have DocuBank, be sure to bring a copy of healthcare documents on your trip and make sure your agents have copies in their possession.
- Check your beneficiary designations on your accounts. You created a Trust but you procrastinated re-titling of your assets. This is a great time to finish adding or changing beneficiaries. Remember, an empty Trust is like a treasure chest that needs to be filled.
- Organize your estate planning binder. Do not leave that big binder you received at your final signing full of papers strewn all over or hidden under a pile of clothes in the back of your closet. Tell a family member where they can find it in case of emergency. Include a list of passwords and security codes. The more your family understands your plan, the more all of you will feel at ease during your travels.
If you have any questions about creating an estate plan or updating your existing plan, please contact us today!