Estate Planning and Your Travel Plans

With planes, trains, boats and cars so readily available today; traveling is something that the average person does here in America. Whether it is a few hours to visit your family for a holiday, flying from LA to New York for business every few weeks, or an international trip for pleasure; we are fortunate to have such excellent access to these many options around the clock. With this frequent traveling, have you ever considered the importance of estate planning in light of an accident, and never being able to return home to set your affairs in order? Though traveling is usually safe, there is a very real possibility of a product malfunction, or a drunk driver, and today even terrorists as we saw tragically in 9-11. Death is very real, and because we don't know how or when our time here on earth may come to a close, planning your estate should become all the more important.

Perhaps you are leaving home for a week for business, it is very likely that you have a list of things to make sure you have before you make your companies big pitch to the corporate office, right? Maybe you even have a list of your personal necessities because you know how easy it is to forget that pair of socks or toothbrush when you travel. The same goes for estate planning, the more prepared you are the better you will feel when you choose to travel; toothbrush, socks, and estate affairs ready to go. Here are a few things to considering regards to estate planning before you go away on a trip for business or pleasure; tips that can help you rest assured that in the event of a tragedy those you care about are well taken care of.

Complete the estate planning process. It can't be said any more, you never know when your life will end or you will be involved in an accident that can cause life changing injuries and for that reason estate planning is essential. Perhaps you know that at the end of next month you and your wife are taking a week vacation in Hawaii while the kids stay with your sister, use that vacation date as your personal deadline! A trip away from your children should be all the more reason for you to make sure your estate, and ultimately their future, is clearly laid out before you leave. This way if there is a tragic plane accident or scuba injury, the children will be sure to have the proper care and financial coverage that is needed.

Update the estate plans. Life and people change, and before you travel you want to make sure that all your wishes are current on your estate plans. Make sure that the beneficiaries listed are still accurate, consider what changes have occurred in your family since you last adjusted the document. Were there any deaths, marriages, births, etc.? It is always good to have an up to date plan, so use your travel plans to bring your plans up to date. When addressing the beneficiaries, perhaps they passed on; you will have to make new arrangements. Because people and life are constantly changing, contact your probate attorney to discuss the necessary updates that are necessary!

Review the plans for your children. Even if you have already planned your estate, before you travel review the plans for your underage children. Perhaps you planned your estate a few years ago, review the details and make sure everything is up to date and that there is a trusted guardian listed.

Update your insurance. A very important aspect of traveling and planning is your insurance. Go through your life insurance plan and see if your current plan is efficient for the needs of your family. Also, consider planning ahead for any injuries or long term care that may be required as a result of your travels or future incidents.

Get organized! Lastly, and most importantly is to stay organized. If you plan on traveling, not only should you make sure the very details of your estate plans are current but you want to make sure these files and documents are ready to go and easy to find. Make sure that your trustee is aware of where these documents are located. Also, include in this file every single account that is to your name along with the passwords, login info, security questions, etc. Obviously, you will want to keep these files in a secure location where only your trustee can locate them when it is necessary.