The next time you’re taking the time to plan your next vacation, think about how much time you’ve spent making an estate plan. If you’re like most people, your vacation planning is probably much lengthier than your estate planning efforts. Even if you haven’t created a complete estate plan, you could take some preparatory steps to ensure that you’ll be well prepared if an emergency should happen during your vacation. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you get started.
What if I fall ill or am involved in an accident?
A good estate plan prepares for the possibilities no one wants to think about. For example, if you’re on vacation and should be involved in an accident, who will your doctors contact if you’re unconscious or incapacitated? If you don’t have a medical directive or healthcare power of attorney, you won’t be able to convey your healthcare wishes.
Who will pay your bills or manage your finances?
Like your healthcare decisions you’ll also need someone to care for your finances if something should happen to you while you’re vacation. This is where a financial power of attorney comes in. With this document you can give someone else the right to manage your finances in an emergency.
What if you should die?
In the worst possible scenario, what would happen if you should die while on vacation? At the very minimum you’ll need a last will and testament to direct how your property should be distributed. If you have young children you will also want to make sure your will appoints a guardian.