People often plan a summer vacation for months before summer even arrives. After all, good planning can make the difference between a great trip and a frustrating one. One often overlooked pre-vacation task may seem a little unusual. However, making sure your affairs are in order – including your estate plan – is crucial.
Review Your Estate Plan
If you have not looked at your estate planning documents in a while, now is the time to do it. Before packing your toothbrush, look over your Will, durable power of attorney, revocable living trust, advanced medical directive, and any other documents that comprise your estate plan. Has your life changed since you signed these documents? Major life events like birth, death, marriage, and divorce tend to dramatically affect your estate plans.
In addition, consider reviewing your beneficiary designations. Remember, though, that your beneficiary designations and estate plan go hand-in-hand. In other words, each affects the other.
Get Ready to Make Some Changes
In between making flight reservations and buying a new carryon, make an appointment to see an estate planning attorney. Do this as far in advance of your vacation as possible, so your documents can be freshly signed before you leave.
Gather copies of your estate planning documents and any other information your lawyer requests before your meeting. You may be tempted to delay your estate plan review until after your vacation. Don’t wait. Your family depends on it.
Plan Your Estate Plan
At your meeting, it’s time to really get some planning done. You and your estate planning lawyer probably will review your plan documents together. Some people may be able to walk away secure that their estate plans are in order as-is. Others may have major changes to make before leave home.
Maybe you or someone with an interest in your estate has married or divorced since your last estate plan was written. You may need to add or remove people from your Will and plan documents.
Add Updating Your Estate Plan to Your Pre-Vacation Checklist
Your estate plan affects not only you but your family members and friends. It’s so important that it should be up to date before you set foot on that cruise ship or drive off to the family cabin.
Attorney Bruce Adams assists clients like you with their estate planning matters. Call us at 256-237-3339 to schedule an appointment. We are located in Anniston, Alabama, but help clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.