Vacation season is upon us, and in my experience, the prospect of boarding a plane is a great motivator to review my estate plan. Although (in 31 years of practice) I have not lost a vacationing client, I understand the anxiety that vacation travel can provoke.
If you are planning a vacation this summer and it has been more than a few years since you reviewed your estate plan, take the time to do so before you leave. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Are the people named in your Will as guardians of your children and as the executor (now called Personal Representative) of your estate still alive and well and appropriate to do those jobs? Do the instructions about how assets are to be distributed at your death still accurately reflect your wishes? Have you purchased real estate or had children since you last updated your plan? Is a beneficiary battling substance abuse or money management issues that would make a Trust appropriate? If your family is traveling together, do you know who would inherit your estate if you all perished? Have you created a Trust as part of your plan but never funded it?
For these or any number of other reasons, it is probably time to touch base with your estate planning attorney and make sure things are in order before you depart. Of course, updating your estate plan (or creating one in the first place) is not optimally done while in a pre-vacation frenzy. Contact your estate planning attorney now, before summer is in full swing, and get your estate plan in order so you will have a worry-free vacation!
If you need some motivation, check out Death by Selfie and Other Avoidable Vacation Tragedies. Safe travels!
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