Estate Planning Essentials Before Traveling
It is hard to foresee and plan for emergency situations just before leaving on a relaxing vacation. Therefore, it is crucial that you ensure that you prepare an estate plan for the benefit of you and your family. Many Canadians travel in Canada and travel internationally every year. Unfortunately, a roadside mishap or an accident on a transatlantic flight can happen. When tragedy strikes, you want to ensure that your loved ones are not left confused with how to how to administer your estate. Kahane Law Office helps with all travel estate planning. Keep reading to find out which estate planning tasks you should complete before departing on your vacation.
Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney
Travel estate planning includes preparing documents that reflect your wishes. Specifically, ones that deal with distributing your property when you pass away, financial decisions, and your health care.
The Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney are travel estate planning documents that reflect decisions about your health care and finances. Both documents take effect while living but only when you lack capacity to make your own decisions.
If you are planning on living abroad for a period of time and wish to have someone handle your finances while you are out-of-town, you should prepare a General Power of Attorney or Specific Power of Attorney. Both documents allow you to appoint a trusted individual, such as your parents, spouse, siblings or adult children, to manage your finances while you are away.
The two Powers of Attorney, General Power of Attorneys and a Specific Power of Attorneys, have different purposes. A General Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to handle all your finances and property while away and mentally capable. A Specific Power of Attorney is employed when you want to appoint someone to perform a specific task. Often people use these while they are not in town. They must be mentally capable though. Common usage includes such things as selling a home or paying bills. A Power of Attorney sets out the time frame that it is effective for. Should you become mentally incapable of making decisions, a Power of Attorney terminates. This means that your appointed attorney can no longer act for you.
Wills: Key Travel Estate Planning
Your Will spells out your final wishes with respect to the distribution of your property. Your Will takes effect once you pass away and ensures that your estate is administered according to your wishes. While everyone is encouraged to have a Will, it is especially crucial to have one if you have dependents, such as children who are minors, or a spouse. Having a Will is also important if you own a business and require succession planning or you wish to gift specific items to certain individuals.
If you already have a Will, review and update it every time there is a major life event in your family. These include things like births, deaths, marriage, divorce, or remarriage. Further, update your documents when your finances change or when an executor can no longer serve.
Guardians For Minor Children
If you have minor children, you should complete or update your Will to reflect your chosen guardian that will care for your children in the unlikely event that something were to happen to you. If you have a named guardian, consider if he or she is still able and willing to serve. Also consider if he or she is still the best choice considering your child’s age. Failing to have a proper guardian stated in your Will may result in the Courts assigning a guardian without your input. If traveling without your minor children, you should designate a temporary legal guardian to make important decisions for your children in the event of an emergency.
Plan Ahead Of Time
Put completing or updating your travel estate planningdocuments on your per-departure checklist. Do not leave it to the last minute. In addition to making your vacation arrangements, proper estate planning takes time. You may feel rushed to get your documents in order, which often leads to the ‘big picture’ not being addressed. Further, you may incur higher legal fees in order to expedite your documents. Thus, make sure to set aside ample time to discuss estate planning with your loved ones. Do this without the pressure of an impending departure date.
Make Your Estate Planning Documents Accessible
Not only is it important to keep your original travel estate planning documents in a safe location, your loved ones will also need to know where they are located. For certain documents such as the Personal Directive and Powers of Attorney, a copy should be provided to your agents and attorneys. Moreover, your loved ones will also need access to your original will.
In today’s technological age, account management often occurs online. Accordingly, make sure to print a hard copy list of login credentials for all your accounts and store it somewhere that a trusted loved one knows about. You should review and update your list before each trip.
Help With Travel Estate Planning
Before departure, add the above-mentioned tasks to your checklist. This allows you to travel with peace of mind. You know that, should a tragedy occur, your wishes are known and honoured. Our Wills & Estates lawyers assist you with preparing and helping you understand all travel estate planning documents. They also assists clients with all matters relating to wills, estate planning, trusts and probate matters. If you cannot make it to our office, we happily attend your residence or health care facility to sign documents. The best way to reach us is by phone at 403-225-8810 in Calgary, or email us directly here.