Business travelers often find themselves navigating the complexities of estate planning with an added layer of challenge—frequent trips away from home. If you already have an estate plan in place, kudos on taking this important step. However, to maintain its effectiveness, it’s crucial to consider the unique circumstances of frequent travel. In this blog, we’ll explore estate planning tips tailored to individuals who travel extensively for business.
Review and Update Regularly
Having an existing estate plan is an excellent starting point. However, given the fluid nature of personal and financial situations, it’s vital to revisit your plan regularly. After each significant trip or at least annually, review your plan to ensure it aligns with your current wishes and circumstances.
Digitalize and Secure Key Documents
Frequent business travelers should prioritize digitalizing their essential estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. Store these documents securely in a password-protected, cloud-based system, and grant access to a trusted individual in case of emergency.
Travel-Friendly Estate Plan Summary
Create a condensed version of your estate plan that you can carry with you while traveling. Include critical contact information for your attorney, healthcare agent, and executor, as well as a concise summary of your wishes and intentions. Keep this summary in a secure location.
Empower a Local Contact
Designate a local contact who can act on your behalf in the event of an emergency or unforeseen situation during your business travels. This person should have access to your digital documents and understand your estate planning intentions.
Regularly Update Beneficiary Designations
Frequent business travelers should consistently review and update beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets. Confirm that these designations align with your current wishes and financial circumstances.
Plan for International Travel
If your business travels frequently take you abroad, consider the implications of international estate planning. Consult with your attorney to ensure that your estate plan complies with international laws and addresses any potential challenges that may arise.
Digital Asset Management
For those with substantial digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies or online accounts with significant value, create a digital asset management plan. Specify how these assets should be accessed, managed, or transferred if you’re unable to do so.
Empower Your Power of Attorney
Ensure your designated power of attorney has the authority and instructions to manage your affairs effectively while you’re traveling. They should be able to handle financial, legal, and healthcare matters on your behalf if necessary.
Stay in Close Contact with Loved Ones
Keep your loved ones informed about your travel plans and your estate planning. Ensure they know where to locate your critical documents and how to reach out to your attorney or financial advisor in case of an emergency.
Maintain an Emergency Contact List
Prepare a comprehensive emergency contact list that includes family members, close friends, and essential professionals like your attorney and financial advisor. Carry a physical copy with you while traveling and store a digital copy securely online.
Remember that estate planning is an ongoing process that requires attention and adaptation to changing circumstances. By following these tailored estate planning tips, you can maintain peace of mind while on the road, ensuring that your plan continues to reflect your wishes and safeguards your financial legacy, no matter where your business travels take you.