Thursday, June 26, 2014
Summer season is in full swing, which means travel and vacations are a high priority on everyone’s list. One thing that may not make a traveler’s to-do list is estate planning; however, it is just as, if not more important than the vacation you plan to take.
Because Americans spend more time planning their vacation than their estate, knowing what would happen to your family if something happened is critical to traveling with peace of mind. Before embarking off on vacation, check off a few of these items:
- Guardianship for minor children. If you have minor children, it is critical to choose guardians for your kids. Give your children’s caretaker the legal short-term guardianship needed to ensure they could make decisions for your kids in an emergency, and lay out a plan for long term guardianship. These documents should stand alone, and not be buried in your will.
- Complete an estate plan. Now is the time to complete your estate plan to make sure your children do not have to navigate the waters of the probate system alone.
- Update any existing plans. If something has changed since you last made your estate plan, now is the time to make an update.
- Review beneficiaries. Beneficiaries of your retirement accounts, life insurance and other assets should be reviewed frequently to ensure the proper beneficiaries are named.
- Organize a legacy drawer. Make sure to have an organized file of account statements and your full estate plan before you leave. Include a list of usernames and passwords to your online accounts and tell your family where they can locate this file.
See Bonnie Bowles, 7 Must-Do’s Before Your Summer Vacation, Examiner, June 25, 2014.