It’s no surprise that Americans spend more time planning their summer vacations than they do planning their estate.
Indeed, two-thirds of Americans do not have any estate planning in place, and 69% of parents have yet to name legal guardians for their children. These are frightening statistics, but understandable as vacations are fun but contemplating your own mortality is not.
However, wouldn’t you travel with more peace of mind if you knew you had taken the necessary steps to protect your family if something unthinkable should happen to you? That’s why you need to tackle these five important tasks before you go on that much-deserved summer vacation:
Guardians for minor children — if you have children under the age of 18, before you travel, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure the well-being and care of your kids, no matter what. If you don’t have any planning in place or a plan that only names guardians in a Will, you could be leaving your kids at risk of being taken into the care of strangers while the authorities figure out what to do, if something happens to you. We recommend a full Family Emergency Plan to ensure there is no gap in your kids care, ever and no matter what.
Click here for more information about “How to Choose the Right Guardians for Your Kids.”
Beneficiary review — if it’s been awhile since you updated your beneficiary forms for retirement accounts, life insurance or other assets, it’s time for a review — especially if there has been a major change in your life. Make sure insurance and retirement accounts are never passed on to your minor children, outside of a Trust.
Estate plan review — if you have experienced a birth, death, marriage, divorce, or other life-changing event or started or sold a business since you last updated your estate plan, you need to be sure those changes are reflected by updating your plan.
Advance healthcare directive — if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own health care decisions, have you named someone who you can depend on to carry out your wishes? If so, have you shared your decision with the important people in your life and has your election been written out and formalized? If not, you need to execute an advance healthcare directive that includes a durable power of attorney and a HIPAA release so your medical information can be shared.
Insurance update — does your life insurance coverage still meet the needs of your family? If not, then you should revise your policy before you go. If you need a top-notch life insurance agent referral, just let us know and we’ll connect you to one of our amazing partners.
In addition, you need to be sure you’ve got an organized file of all your accounts and estate planning documents and you need to tell your family where they can locate the file if and when it becomes necessary.
The time to create a plan that spells out how you’ll pass on your values, beliefs and your money to your children is now. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
Call Snyder Law, PC in Irvine today to schedule a time for us to sit down at a Family Estate Planning or Review Consultation, where we can help you identify the best ways for you to protect and provide for your family. We want you to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your happy vacation with peace of mind that you not only planned an awesome vacation, but an amazing future for your family.