Before heading out on summer vacation, attend to some estate planning basics. Doing so can give you and your family ample peace of mind. Some estate planning steps include checking your guardian nominations, verifying correct signatures, and ensuring your estate planning documents are properly organized. Find out more via Max Alavi APC, OC Trusts Lawyer.
Planning Your Summer Vacation? 5 Things to Consider Now
Summer vacations can provide a much-needed reprieve from your 9-5 life, allowing you and your loved ones a chance to rest, relax, and reconnect. Before embarking on your seasonal sojourn, however, there are a few preparations you’ll want to make. These include a few basic estate planning activities.
5 Estate Planning Considerations for Summer Vacation
1) Guardian nomination.
Some low-level risk is always associated with summer vacationing, whether you’re traveling by car or plane. If you and your spouse don’t make it back from your trip, who will serve as guardians for your minor children? We recommend double-checking your estate plan to ensure you’ve named the appropriate person.
Remember that if you do not name someone to serve as the guardian to your minor children, and if you and your spouse both pass, the court will appoint someone to take care of your children moving forward. This may or may not be someone you would have wanted for the job, so it’s always best to be clear in nominating your chosen guardian. We see all too many situations in which custody of children goes to a deceased parent’s sister or brother, even when that sister or brother may have limited income, several kids of their own to worry about, an unsupportive partner, or a lifestyle that isn’t conducive to taking on another child. Talk to your estate planning attorney about avoiding this fate.
2) Beneficiary designations.
It’s very uncommon for people to have outdated beneficiary designations, or at the very least, that hasn’t been reviewed in a long time. We recommend taking just a few minutes to log into your IRA, 401(k), and/or life insurance company’s website to double-check your beneficiary designations to check double that these assets will be allocated according to your wishes, should the unthinkable happen to you while you’re vacationing.
3) Health care documents.
Suppose you become seriously injured, ill, or even incapacitated while on your trip; it may fall to one of your loved ones to make important financial or healthcare decisions on your behalf. Ensure the right people make these decisions and enjoy general peace of mind. At the same time you travel, ask your estate planning lawyer to review your powers of attorney and advance health directives.
Do you have a will, trust, and other unsigned documents? Perhaps you haven’t signed because you’re still reviewing them, but remember that they are not legally valid without a signature. Rather than wait until they are “perfect,” reach out to your estate planning attorney to develop a plan for getting them signed ASAP. Remember that you can always make changes or revisions in the future.
5) General organization.
Where do you keep your hard copy and a digital copy of your estate planning documents? Choose a safe location in your home to store at least one hard copy, and always create a folder on your hard drive or personal cloud storage site to have access to a backup digital copy. You should also inquire about keeping a copy on file at your estate planning law firm.
Check-in with Your Estate Planning Lawyer
Getting your estate plan in order can provide additional peace of mind while you travel, rest, and relax. If you’re in the Orange County area, we invite you to contact Max Alavi APC, OC Trusts Lawyer. He has a proven track record of helping clients prepare for all scenarios. Contact the estate planning law firm of Max Alavi APC, OC Trusts Lawyer, today.