Why You Should Review Your Estate Plan Before Vacation
Planning a vacation? Just the word alone conjures up images of some much-needed R&R or an exciting escape from everyday life. As you prepare for your trip and take steps to stop mail delivery and secure care for any pets, add one very important item to your to-do list: update your estate planning documents. Granted, the thought of estate planning hardly seems to have a place in vacation planning. However, most travelers prepare for the unknown by purchasing travel insurance in the event their trip is cancelled due to weather conditions, air travel delays or a medical emergency. Why not review your estate plan to be sure that all of your documents – last will and testament, power of attorney, medical directives, and so on – are up to date?
Don’t wait to plan
Many individuals postpone discussions about estate planning for one reason or another. Perhaps life is busy and it isn’t a good time or it isn’t a comfortable subject to discuss. But the reality is that estate planning should be done before you are in time crunch with an upcoming trip or overwhelmed due to an impending medical situation. It is best to address estate planning when you can take the time to thoughtfully make decisions without any added stress.
An annual life planning checkup
Heading to the doctor once a year for an annual checkup is something many of us do automatically. It’s a way of assessing if anything has changed with our physical condition or if anything needs to be addressed. Similarly, if you have experienced any life changes such as marriage, divorce, children, moving or the like, it is important to review your existing estate plan to determine if anything needs to be updated to reflect that new set of circumstances. If everything is status quo, estate plans should still be reviewed every four years.
Vacation stress free
Why the need to review your estate plan before a trip? If you are traveling without your dependent — a child, parent or spouse, for example – then whoever is left in charge of those dependents should be granted the authority to obtain medical care for them in your absence should the need arise.
If you have adult children who will be traveling without you, they may need to appoint a healthcare proxy or sign a HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release so that you can make medical decisions on their behalf or at least obtain information on their medical condition if the situation presents itself.
Business owners planning to travel should consider appointing a successor if one hasn’t been designated already and updating any relevant business documents.
We are here to help with your estate planning needs
Estate planning is an important step in ensuring your loved ones are cared for and your estate is distributed according to your preferences. The dedicated Palm Beach estate planning lawyers at Kitroser, Lewis & Mighdoll work one-on-one with families and individuals to assist with all your estate planning needs. Don’t wait to make these decisions. Contact our North Palm Beach office today at 561-721-0600 or contact us online to discuss your estate planning options and schedule a consultation. We are your family’s lawyers and here to help.