From summer vacation to winter break, spending time with family or getting in some much-needed time to yourself is important now and then. As you make preparations to get out of town, add “update my estate plan” to your list of things to do. Estate planning for vacation will help you leave your worries behind so you can rest easy on your trip.
Meet With an Estate Planning Attorney
Our Estate Planning Team is here to help you ensure your estate plan covers all your and your family’s needs. Call 303-688-0944 or click here to set up a free case assessment to discuss updating your estate plan. If you have not created an estate plan, let’s take care of it before you go on your trip.
Estate Planning for Vacation
You can plan every detail of your trip, but you have no way of knowing what might happen around the corner. Accidents happen. People get sick. Considering what could happen to you and your loved ones if you suddenly cannot make decisions for yourself or care for them can be an uncomfortable internal conversation.
You can let go of some of those concerns, though, when your estate plan is in order. So, consider these key estate planning items before you go on vacation.
A Care Plan for Minor Children
Whether the kids are joining you on your trip or staying home with their grandparents while you’re away, it’s critical to make sure this portion of your plan is in order before you go out of town.
List a Guardian & Conservator
Make sure you have a guardian listed for each minor child. You can have the same guardian for each child.
What is a Guardian?
A guardian is a person you want to care for your children in the event that you or their other parent is unable to do so. It’s also a good idea to include a backup guardian in case your first choice is unable to serve in that role.
What is a Conservator?
You can also put in writing who you want to manage any inheritance your children would receive. This person is called a conservator.
Learn more about guardians and conservators.
If your children are staying behind, it goes without saying you’ll leave their caretaker a list of any allergies, medications, doctors’ phone numbers, and other information that’s critical to your child’s wellbeing.
However, you should also consider giving those caretakers the authority to make medical decisions for your children while you’re away. If the kids are coming along, bring that list of medical information with you.
A Living Will & Medical Power of Attorney Documents
What is a Living Will?
A living will is a type of advanced directive. It’s a legal document that states your health care preferences in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
A living will specifies medical decisions, such as whether you would want to be kept alive on life support if you became seriously ill or injured. When you document your wishes in a living will, you relieve loved ones of the burden of having to guess what you would want in that situation.
What is a Medical Durable Power of Attorney?
A medical durable power of attorney is a document you sign to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you in the event you’re unable to make them yourself.
If you are traveling to another state, take a moment to understand that state’s laws regarding health care decisions.
You will want to confirm that your living will would be valid there should you become incapacitated and cannot be moved back to Colorado for medical treatment.
People with known medical conditions who frequently travel out of state often create multiple living wills to ensure their wishes can be carried out wherever they are at the time.
A Plan for Your Assets
Whether you use a will or a trust to determine who will receive your assets when you pass away, now is a good time to check in with these documents to make sure they are up to date and reflect any changes that may have occurred among your beneficiaries. Common changes include births, deaths, and divorces.
Learn more about the difference between a will and a trust and which one best suits your needs.
Of course, if you don’t already have a will or a living trust, it’s a good idea to create one before you depart on your trip.
Create or update a master file, whether an electronic or hard copy, of all your accounts and documents before your vacation. Include login information where necessary.
Keep it in a safe, but obvious, place. Be sure to let someone know where to find it, such as your attorney and loved ones. This will make it easy to access your accounts and find pertinent information if something happens to you while you’re away.
After you’ve taken the time to create or update your estate plan documents, an important final step is to notify the people you’ve identified to make decisions or act on your behalf about their appointed roles.
Let’s Meet for Some Estate Planning for Vacation
While this article provides important considerations to take with regard to your estate plan before you go on vacation, this is not an exhaustive list, nor is it one-size-fits-all.
The best way to ensure your estate plan is as comprehensive as possible is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Various Meeting Options for Your Convenience
Robinson & Henry’s Estate Planning Team has multiple offices along the Front Range for your convenience. Additionally, all of our locations are equipped to hold meetings via video conference. Whatever your needs and preferences, our team is ready to assist you and your loved ones. Call 303-688-0944 to set up your free case assessment, or click here to schedule it online.
Robinson & Henry’s estate planning attorneys help individuals, families, and business owners plan for the future by drafting powers of attorney, last wills and testaments, trusts, advance directives, and more.