While there’s still time, many of our clients take the opportunity to travel over the summer. Whether you’re opting for cross-country travel to visit family or taking a long-planned trip overseas, there are a few steps to take before you travel to ensure your affairs are taken care of:
Make sure you have completed your Legal Life PlanTM
This includes the legal documents and plans you need to travel with peace of mind knowing your wishes and belongings are legally protected. From a durable power of attorney to asset distribution, you’ll have the plan you WANT in case something happens to you while traveling.
Do you have a written plan for the people you have chosen to step in and take care of your assets in case of your incapacity (temporary or permanent)?
Have you visited with a qualified attorney to determine how to manage your assets at your death to so that your children are provided for and protected?
If you don’t have a fully written and executed plan, get one before you travel.
If you have a plan in place, review and tweak if necessary
Almost everything in your life is subject to change. A plan you wrote 10 years ago is almost guaranteed to be irrelevant now.
Ask yourself these questions regarding your current plan:
- Does it still do what you want it to do?
- Does it have provisions for your grandchildren or great-grandchildren?
- Is anyone you appointed to help with your estate incapacitated, or has anyone passed away?
- Were there any new marriages or divorces (e.g., children)?
- Does your plan still do what you wanted it to do?
If your plan isn’t up to par, make changes now before you travel. We offer reviews for those who haven’t had their Legal Life PlanTM designed in our office. We want to make sure you’re protected—so contact us today. Especially if it’s been two or more years, it’s time for a check-up.
Communicate your plan before you go
In fact, you should’ve talked with them previously, but travel is a good reason to revisit the topic. Talk to your fiduciaries (trustees, personal representatives, agents, etc.), making sure they know that they're fiduciaries in your plan.
Chat with your children or other loved ones to let them know your plan, your wishes, and what should happen in the event of an emergency. They should know in advance; otherwise, complications may arise later.
Take important documents with you
You might want to take a copy of your health care power of attorney, living will (advanced directive) and HIPAA release. The rest of the documents are not as critical to have during your travels. For example, there is usually no need for a full-blown copy of your trust or will. However, your health care documents could be very important while you travel in case of accident or illness.
Carrying your documents
There are ways to upload the healthcare documents to the "cloud" and then just carry a card. For example, on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website, you’ll find a page with instructions for this.
Once you submit the application and the documents, the Secretary of State’s office will upload the documents and send you a card for your wallet that has instructions and a password for accessing those documents while you travel, which could come in handy.
If you have questions before your trip, please call our office. We know that having a plan in place can make travel that much more pleasant. We’d love to set up some time to review your plan and make sure you’re taken care of.