Before You Hit the Road...
Whether you’re planning a vacation or preparing for your holiday trip home, the anticipation of traveling is hard to beat. But before you head down the highway or the terminal with your carry-on luggage, don’t forget to complete all of the items on your pretravel checklist, including planning for the future.
An emergency is the last thing you want to think about before taking an extended trip. That said, reviewing your estate planning documents should still be at the top of your pretravel checklist.
Documents you should have in place prior to traveling include:
- A will. This directs who you would like to inherit your property and assets when you die, ensuring that your family, friends and favorite causes receive the consideration you intended.
- A durable power of attorney for finances. This is a simple, inexpensive and reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances if you are unable to do so yourself.
- A power of attorney for health care decisions. If you become incapacitated because of an accident or illness, you will want medical decisions to be made by someone you trust. This document gives one or more individuals the power to act on your behalf in deciding your medical care.
It is often necessary to present the original documents to invoke power. Therefore, these documents should be easily accessible and the person you select as executor should know where to locate them. In general, the most important thing is that you communicate with your family to ensure they know what to do if the unthinkable happens while you’re away.
Did You Know? You can easily support Southern Methodist University through your estate plan. Contact SMU's Office of Gift Planning at email@example.com or 214-768-1911 today to learn more.