As the Spring and Summer months approach, travel ideas begin to blossom. With any great vacation, it starts with planning the destination and creating checklists of ideas to do and see. Of course, we create a to-do list of things we must do before departing for sunshine and relaxation.
Before any trip make sure you have these things in place in the event you don’t return or become unable to make decisions for yourself. These will help avoid confusion for your loved ones.
- Have a well-planned estate in place. Let’s face it, thinking about our mortality is not enjoyable. But not planning for something that is unpredictable can cause confusion for our loved ones. Take the time to prepare for death even though you think that you have years before it becomes an issue.
- Review and update your existing will. Factors that can change information about your beneficiaries include death, divorce, birth, and adoption. As your family structure and assets change, it is likely that your estate plan will require changes as well.
- Ensure that your children are well planned for. Many people take a lot of time deciding what to do with their assets and forget that they need to appoint guardianship for their children. There are many details to take into consideration when it comes to guardianship.
- Have an Advance Directive in place. At the very minimum, everyone in your family over the age of 18 should have an Advance Directive, which gives another person legal authority to make healthcare decisions if they are unable to make the decision themselves.
- Review and Update Insurance. Before traveling is an excellent time to consider or update any life insurance policies.
- Communicate with your loved ones. Make sure that one of your loved ones knows your wishes and plans. They will need to know where to find the necessary information for planning such as, financial information, medical and life insurance policies, contact information for doctors, lawyers, and financial advisors, funeral and burial plans, real estate, estate deeds, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and social security or social insurance cards.
Few of us would own a car without insurance. And we buy all kinds of insurance to cover our health, our home our life, our business and even our travel. If we can just think of estate planning in that same light, we might be motivated to ensure that our estate is properly taken care of when we pass on. It’s just as important as any insurance, especially to your family and loved ones.
Paulla is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law* practicing in the greater Yuba-Sutter area. Paull a provides quality legal counsel for all levels of complexity in estate planning, trust administration, probate, special needs trusts, elder law, and business succession and tax planning. In addition to Paulla’s experience in law, she spent nine years as an elementary and middle school teacher for the Yuba City Unified and Franklin Elementary School Districts. Paulla is married to Brad McIntire, and their family includes daughters Jackie and Katie and son Zach.
*State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization