Going on vacation entails lots of planning: making reservations, buying plane tickets, confirming rental vehicles, finding pet sitters and packing luggage. One thing many people forget to do before going on vacation is to plan for catastrophes. I’ve had friends who have been stranded in far-away places, who have gotten sick or been injured, and I know a few who have even died. Here are 4 things to do before vacation:
1. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date
If you are incapacitated (or missing/stranded), you should have someone who can make legal and financial decisions for you, as well as someone who can make medical decisions for you. These are done through Durable Powers of Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney. Completing these or reviewing them before vacation is critical. You want to be sure you have the right people named for those jobs.
2. Create Powers of Attorney
Beneficiary designations allow you to name the person (or persons) you’d like to inherit the asset upon your death. These designations control over what is in your Will or Trust. You should name both a primary beneficiary and at least one alternate beneficiary in case the primary dies before you. These designations should be regularly reviewed and updated, especially following major life events like marriage, divorce, and having children.
3. Name guardians for your minor children
Naming guardians for your children if you die or become incapacitated
is your most important planning task. Who do you trust to care for your children – and potentially raise them – if something happens to you? I know this is often a tough decision for parents. We have a comprehensive system called the Kids Protection Plan™ that guides you step-by-step through the process of creating the legal documents naming these guardians and ensuring someone can make medical decisions for your child if you aren’t around. You can get started with this process right now for free by visiting our user-friendly website: https://susanhuntlaw.com/kids-protection-plan/
4. Organize your digital assets
If you’re like most people, you probably have dozens of digital accounts like email, social media, cloud storage of data and photos, airline miles, banking, and maybe even cryptocurrency. When your family can’t find these assets, they can be lost forever upon your death. You should write down the location and passwords for each account, and ensure someone you trust knows where to find your list and what to do in the event of your death or incapacity. To make this process easier, consider using LastPass, Keeper Security or a similar service that stores and organizes your passwords.
Complete your vacation planning now
If you have a vacation planned, be sure to add these 4 things to do before vacation to your to-do list before leaving. And if you need help completing any of these tasks—or would simply like us to double check the plan you have in place—give me a call!
We recommend you complete these tasks at least 8 weeks before you depart. However, if your trip is sooner than that, call and let us know you need a rush Family Wealth Planning Session, and we’ll do our best to fit you in as soon as possible. Contact us today to get started.