Aside from booking your flight, going shopping and thinking of the right clothing to take along with you, you need to execute some estate planning tasks before you travel. Below are some of the tasks.
Contact an attorney and prepare your estate plan
If you have been delaying your estate plan, use your next vacation as your deadline to finally get it done. If you don’t have an attorney in mind, contact us. If you are not sure about some important choices, your attorney can be of assistance. If you aren’t financially buoyant, kick start the plan with what you can afford (a basic will or trust, durable power of attorney, including healthcare documents) and enhance your documents when you have the money.
Be sure to allow enough time to discuss your estate planning goals with your attorney and to review and execute the documents created by your attorney in advance of your trip. You may need to allow extra time to discuss questions about or proposed modifications to the documents with your attorney.
Select guardians for your children
As a parent of a young child or children, the main reason why you need an estate plan, especially a will, is to name who will cater to your child or children if both you and the other parent die. If you fail to, the court will choose a guardian. This individual is usually a family member (or other responsible friend). Instead of leaving it to the courts to decide among family members, make the choice yourself by creating an estate plan.
If you are a single parent, it is even more crucial to have these decisions made as soon as possible and documented in a will.
Many parents disagree about who they would like to cater to their child or children. Maybe one parent thinks a grandparent would be ideal and the other parent [predicts that your children would run the household. Or you might think of a perfect individual, but he or she isn’t ready for the task at hand. It is best to figure all of that out now than to leave such an essential decision up to a total stranger.
As soon as you narrow down the choices, ensure you ask the potential guardian if he or she would be willing to handle the responsibility. You want this individual to be willing to cater to your children.
Review and update your current estate plan.
Revisions should be done anytime there are significant changes in your family (i.e. a birth, death, marriage, divorce, or remarriage), your finances, or tax laws, or if a trustee or executor can no longer serve. Before you travel is an ideal time to do this. Again, ensure that you allow adequate time to have the modifications made.
Review and update your insurance
Before you go on your trip, you need to update your insurance. Check the amount of your life insurance coverage and see if it still adhere to your family’s need. Consider getting long-term care insurance to assist in paying for the costs of long term care (and keep your assets for your loved ones) if you or your spouse need it due to a certain illness or injury.
Review titles and beneficiaries designations
If you have created a living trust and failed to finish changing titles or beneficiary designations, now is the time to do so. Some assets should not be placed in your trust, so check with your attorney and ensure that those assets are as they ought to be.
If a beneficiary has passed on or if you are divorced, ensure you make the required updates. Also, if your beneficiary is incapacitated or a minor, setting up a trust for this individual and naming the trust as beneficiary will stop the court from taking charge of the assets.
If you need an estate planning attorney for your estate plan. Or you need advice on how to cut down estate taxes, don’t hesitate to contact our office.