Call Us For A Free Consultation


On the Road Again! Are you Ready for Vacation?

By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks
The Law Office of Libby Banks > Estate Planning  > On the Road Again! Are you Ready for Vacation?

On the Road Again! Are you Ready for Vacation?

For many of us, we are finally getting an opportunity to travel again, and we are more than ready! However, are you truly ready for that trip? One item you may have forgotten is to check on whether your estate plan is in order before you hit the road. Here are some thoughts on getting things done before your trip.


1. Make sure you have guardians in place for minor children.

If you have minor children, it’s crucial to have documents in place appointing guardians, especially if you are traveling without them. Don’t leave this to chance, or worse, to the court to decide. Putting your choice in a legal document assures that the people you want to raise your children will do so. Which do you want your children to hear: “Your parents asked me to take care of you, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” OR “We’re not sure where you’re going to end up, but don’t worry, it will all be okay eventually.”

2. Review and update your existing estate plan.

A big mistake I see in estate planning is the “set it and forget it” syndrome. All of us need to review our estate plan from time to time, especially as our families evolve. Certainly you should review your plan when things change for you or your spouse. But you should also review your plan if your children are older now, married with their own children! Check your plan to see if it still does what you want, and that no one is included that you don’t want to get your assets. If the trustee or executor is no longer able to serve, or no longer capable, you need to change who will serve.

3. Get a Will, Trust and Powers of Attorney in place if you don’t have them.

Clients regularly tell me what peace of mind they have since completing their plan. Let your upcoming vacation serve as the impetus to put a plan in place!

4. Review your insurance.

Check the amount of your life insurance coverage and see if it still meets your family’s needs. Consider getting long-term care insurance to help pay for the costs of long-term care (and preserve your assets for your family) in the event you and/or your spouse should need it due to illness or injury.

5. Review titles and beneficiary designations.

If you have a revocable living trust and have not changed titles to property and accounts to place them in the name of the trust, now is the time to do so. If you don’t, your family will have to file a probate court proceeding. Also, this is a good time to check beneficiary designations on your insurance and retirement plans to be sure you’ve named the right people. Once you’ve done so, you will know your estate plan will work as you intended

6. Secure or review healthcare documents.

Everyone over the age of 18 needs certain documents (this is an important reminder for your children who have just become adults). They are: 1) General Durable Power of Attorney, which permits someone to be your agent to handle finances and legal matters if you cannot; 2) Power of Attorney for Heath Care, which gives another person legal authority to make health care decisions (including life and death decisions) for you if you are unable to make them for yourself; 3) HIPPA Authorizations, which give written consent for doctors to discuss your medical situation with others, including family members; and 4) Advanced Directive or Living Will to let your loved ones know what you want (and don’t want) at the end of life.

7. Organize your accounts and documents.

Make sure that if something happens, your documents can be easily found. Then make a list of ALL of your assets and where they can be found, including usernames and passwords. Print a hard copy in case your computer is stolen or crashes, put it in a safe, secure place and let someone you trust know where to find it. Be sure to include on your master list any passwords that might be needed to access your computer and files.


Last, but not least: Have a great time! You are likely going to come back safe and sound, but you’ll have great peace of mind knowing that everything’s in place in case something unexpected happens. I’m always happy to help clients put their estate plan in place before a trip. You can book an appointment by calling the office at 603-375-6752 or send a message on our website at www.libbybanks.com/schedule-estate-planning-meeting.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.