Traveling is an enjoyable and exciting hobby for many of us, and when planning or going on a trip we often get so caught up in the anticipation that we may overlook possibilities we would rather not think about, such as what would happen in the event of an unexpected occurrence.
This is why having a solid estate plan in place is a good idea before embarking on any type of travel. An estate plan is especially important if you travel regularly for work or business.
It is natural to not want to think of unpleasant outcomes, such as our serious injury or death while traveling, but preparing a comprehensive estate plan and keeping it regularly updated will take some of the stress out of traveling and allow you to take comfort knowing that if something happened to you, your affairs are in order and your loved ones would be taken care of.
Use your next trip as motivation
If you do not have an estate plan, and have been thinking about developing one, procrastination is common. Using your next planned trip as a deadline can be a great motivator to help you draft your estate plan. If you are not sure what you need or where to start, a trusted legal professional can be a valuable resource.
An estate plan may include a will, life or other types of insurance, or a medical power of attorney. By creating an estate plan prior to travel, you will be able to ensure that your assets and financial affairs will be distributed to your satisfaction, your chosen beneficiaries will receive any insurance proceeds and your wishes will be adhered to if you become incapacitated or unable to make medical decisions on your own.
Regular review is essential
After your estate plan is set up, it is a good idea to review it regularly, particularly before any upcoming trips or vacations. Your initial beneficiary designations may need to be changed, or beneficiaries, such as new family members or children, may need to be added.
Finally, keep all documents related to your estate plan in a safe place and make sure they are organized. Tell a friend or family member you trust exactly where they are located so they know where to find them if necessary. Traveling generally involves stress. Taking these steps may lessen some of that stress so you embark on your trip with peace of mind.