Estate Planning: A Pre-Travel Checklist

Many people create a “to-do list” before leaving for a vacation or other trip. As a recent article explains, several estate planning steps should be at the top of that list. By completing and updating your estate plan, you can travel with the peace of mind that, should you suffer serious illness or death, your affairs are in order.

The first step is to complete your estate plan. Plan well in advance of your trip, and use your departure date as a deadline. If you have completed your estate plan, review and update it before you leave. Consider whether there were any major changes in your life, such as a marriage or birth, that would necessitate a revision. Also consider the impact that external factors, such as tax laws, may have on your estate.

It is also vital to organize all of your accounts and documents. Many people conduct a majority of their business and personal affairs online. Therefore, there is no longer a complete paper trail for accounts and documents. In order to assist your loved ones in locating your assets, create a list of all your accounts. Your list should include the location of the accounts, as well as any information necessary to access each. Consider printing all of your important documents and keeping them in a file. This way, if your computer is lost, stolen, or crashes, your loved ones will still have access to your important information.