Summertime is drawing near and as the world begins opening up again many people are planning summer vacations. Whether you travel to a neighboring town, state, and especially out of the country, it's always important to make sure your estate plan is in order.
Review Your Estate Plan
If you don't have an estate plan in place, the first step would be to create one. Having an experienced lawyer guide you through the process makes all the difference.
If your affairs are in order, it's important to review the estate plan prior to your vacation. Just like most people have a wellness check once a year, reviewing your estate plan at least once a year is a great way to make sure everything is up to date. If there has been a change in dynamics with your family (birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc…) or if a named Executor/Trustee/Agent is no longer able to serve on your behalf, you'll want to make those changes to your estate plan.
If you need to make adjustments, make sure to allow enough time for the changes to be processed before leaving on your vacation. It is not a good idea to rush through revisions in your estate plan, and there is no guarantee that your attorney's calendar is open to accommodate a last-minute meeting.
Remember that marking up your original documents is not a valid revision – revisions to Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney are only valid if properly drafted and witnessed/notarized. Allow time for careful review and proper execution of your documents.
Naming Guardians for Minor Children
If this is not already established in your estate plan, you'll want to make sure this is done prior to any vacation. Whether your child or children travel with you or not does not make a difference — there should be clear guidelines set forth on who should be the primary caretaker of your minor child or children explicitly stated in your estate plan. You don't want to leave this choice up to the state.
Make Sure All Documents Are Easily Accessible
While it's important to make sure your estate plan is in a safe place all the time, before going on vacation, you'll want to make sure that your documents are accessible to a trustworthy person should the worst happen. Having a designated person know where your information is will make the process easier in what would be an unexpected situation. Generally, your attorney will have copies of your executed estate plan. Be sure your trusted person has your attorney's contact information.
When you need assistance making changes to your estate plan, or if you are looking for guidance in creating an estate plan, contact Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC. Our trustworthy team has helped others with their estate planning in the Los Angeles area, and we can help set up an estate plan protecting your family's future too. Contact our office today at (424) 383-8445. It's easy - you can now text us via our website.
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