Summer is time for the long-awaited and much deserved time away from the office and the daily grind. Every year millions of Americans pack their suitcases and board a plane, a cruise ship, or set out on a road trip. Every year many vacations are ruined when the unthinkable happens: an accident, a sudden health crisis, travel delays, and even death.
The wise thing to do when preparing for time away from home is to spend a few hours taking stock of your affairs: Do you have Advance Health Care Directives? Does your Health Care Agent have a copy of this important document (or do you have a copy of it in your car)? Did you leave someone back home with a Power of Attorney? Is your Trust in order? Is it funded (are your home and your bank accounts titled in your trust)? Do you even have a trust, or a simple Will? Is someone empowered to conduct business for your Company if you cannot return as planned?
Taking inventory of your assets and ensuring there is someone back home who is entrusted with important information and documentation should be a part of planning for an out-of-town (or out-of-state / the country) trip.
It is a good opportunity to confirm that your wishes in your Trust or Will are still relevant, and the people you designated to take care of business are still capable of doing so, and agreeable to do so. Taking a few hours to prepare your affairs before you leave can make a huge difference - in the event something happens. It is a good idea to also touch base with your Trust Attorney and make any last-minute updates on your important documents before you set out “foot loose and fancy free” to truly enjoy your time away, without worrying about “What If” something happens during your trip, and you might be leaving a mess behind for your loved ones to have to deal with.