If you travel frequently, you may need to make changes to your estate plan. Unfortunately, more than 1.25 million people each year die while travelling. There are many steps that you can take to protect yourself while on the road, on the water, or in the air. One of those steps, estate planning, starts weeks or months before you leave.
Why Make an Estate Plan?
Travelers often take adventures out of town, out of state, out of the country, or well off the beaten path. Emergencies and dangers can arise at any time. Estate planning is advance preparation for an emergency or unexpected situation. It can give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order. Also, it can help provide for your family if you cannot.
What Kind of Estate Plan Do Travelers Need?
Everyone has different needs and types of assets, so no two estate plans will be exactly the same. But many travelers prefer to sign a power of attorney or advance health care directive. These documents give someone else the power to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. You can specify exactly who that person is and what decisions he or she can make.
Many travelers prefer to choose an agent for a power of attorney who is not going on the trip with them. That way, if anything happens to the group who are traveling, there is someone back home who can make decisions. Further, you should know that while not every country or locale will honor a power of attorney made in California, many will. You should make sure that the chosen agent’s up-to-date contact information is in the power of attorney.
How Soon Before the Trip Should You Start an Estate Plan?
If you have a trip planned, you may wonder how long you can put off making the estate plan before you leave. Depending on a few factors, estate planning may take longer than you think, so do not delay. For example, you may need to speak to several attorneys, the attorney you choose will need time to prepare documents, and you need to review the documents. If you want to make any changes, it will take longer. Further, you may need a notary or witnesses to complete your signatures. Get started on the estate plan at least a few months before you leave.
Planning your estate? Look to Janet Brewer, Esq. for thorough and thoughtful estate planning advice. Janet’s more than 20 years of legal experience will give you confidence and peace of mind. To schedule a “Get Acquainted” meeting, visit Janet's website or call her office at (650) 469-8206.