Taking a Vacation? Estate Planning Tips Before You Go
Summer is the season when many people take vacations. Whether you are planning a weekend in the mountains or several months at the beach, it is important to take care of some important matters before you go. In addition to ensuring you have all the required documents ready for travel and notifying financial institutions that you will be using credit or debit cards out of town, take a look at your estate planning too. Now may be the time to put certain provisions in place or to make updates to important documents. Our New York estate planning attorneys offer the following suggestions.
Make Plans in Case of Unexpected Events
Accidents, injuries, and medical emergencies can happen when you least expect them. Taking some simple steps now can help ensure you are prepared when these types of events occur while you are away. Review your destination and any advisories or warnings that may be posted on local government or travel websites. Keep health insurance cards handy in your wallet and make copies in case they are needed. Keep a list of your prescriptions and make sure they are filled before leaving town.
In the event a medical emergency does occur, advance directives are an important tool in ensuring your wishes are conveyed to unfamiliar doctors and medical providers. The State of New York advises all residents to have the following in place:
- Power of attorney, which authorizes someone to act as your agent in business or financial matters;
- Health care proxy, which authorizes someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.
- Living will, which communicates your wishes regarding end of life care;
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, which dictates the extent of life saving measures you want employed.
Taking Care of Family and Property at Home
In addition to obvious matters such as locking all doors and windows, having mail held at the post office, and asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your property, there are additional tasks you should perform to ensure matters are taken care of at home. These include:
- Make sure your homeowner’s insurance is updated, including the current value of all property you possess.
- Check life insurance documents and make sure you have a primary and alternate beneficiary listed.
- If you have not created a will, do so before you go. If you do have one, make sure it is updated.
- Consider plans for any minor children or vulnerable adults who are dependant on you by appointing a guardian to protect them in New York probate court proceedings.
- Keep all documents in one location and make sure someone you trust is available to access them as needed.
Let Us Help You Today
Estate planning helps ensure you are protected, both while you are away and once you return. Cavallo & Cavallo can guide you in the documents that are needed. Contact our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys and request a consultation in our office today.