Ah, vacation time . . . that highly anticipated, sacrosanct moment that lets you trade the toil and tribulation of daily life for such things as the sound of the waves being carried ashore by a warm ocean breeze. It’s a time to relax, unwind, and let go of the little worries that can add up to be a big headache. Not all vacations, however, result in happy memories. Sometimes unforeseen illness or tragedy strikes and, if not prepared for ahead of time, it may leave you or your family scrambling to recover.
If you want a truly worry-free vacation, take the time to prepare your estate plan with your attorney prior to your departure. This can’t be created or revised overnight, so be sure to meet with your attorney at least five weeks before you travel.
Your attorney will provide the best advice, but you’ll likely want to include the following in your estate plan:
- Health care proxy.Use this to give someone you trust the power to make health care decisions for you.
- Durable financial power of attorney. Use this to designate someone to make financial decisions on your behalf.
- Will. If you die, this provides how your estate should be distributed, the executor of your estate, and, if you have kids, who will be their guardian.
- Living Will. This affords you some measure of control over your life should you become severely and permanently disabled to the point of brain-death, living via respirator, etc.
- Trust. If you die this provides how your estate should be distributed without the costs and time delays of a will only. If you are disabled this cares for you and your assets during your recovery.