Your Vacation To Do List Should Include Estate Planning
By Libby Banks, The Law Ofﬁce of Libby Banks
Most of us create a “to-do list” to get ready for our summer vacation. On the list should be creating or reviewing your estate plan. While international travel is still probably safer than driving in Phoenix, having this checked “Done!” before you leave will give you peace of mind. Here is a checklist of estate planning “to-do’s.”
Create an estate plan.
If you’ve procrastinated about estate planning, a vacation can give you a deadline to move forward. Allow adequate time to complete your estate plan before your trip. If you don’t think you need an estate plan, come to one of my seminars to find out why you do!
Review and update your existing estate plan.
A big mistake in estate planning is the “set it and forget it” syndrome. We need to review our estate plan from time to time. Families, situations and laws change. Your vacation can serve as the stimulus to update – and maybe upgrade – your plan.
Review your plan for minor children.
Name a guardian for your minor children! If you haven’t, the court will decide who will raise your kids. If you have named a guardian, consider whether they are still the best choice. The guardian you picked for your infant children may not be the right one for them now that they’re in middle school or high school.
Review beneficiary designations.
Check beneficiary designations on your insurance and retirement plans. Be sure they are payable to the right people or to your trust as you intended.
Organize your accounts and documents.
Once I could just point to my file cabinet and say everything was “in there.” But with online and cloud accounts, many of us leave no paper trail. Make sure the people who would take care of your estate know where to find what they will need. Include usernames and passwords for online accounts, but keep them in a secure place!
And I have to one last “to do”: Have a great time! You will likely come back safe and sound, but the peace of mind knowing that everything’s in place will let you truly relax and enjoy your vacation. Give me a call if I can assist you! I’m always happy to help clients put their estate plan in place before a trip.