Estate Planning for Travel

Now that domestic travel and some international travel restrictions are lifting, many are wondering how they can protect themselves and their families as much as possible while abroad. As the new Delta variant of the virus begins to spread, while travel begins to increase, estate planning for travel has become just as important as travel insurance. Secure your estate’s safety, care, and heirs should something happen with these easy travel reminders.

  • Ensure your documents are up to date and in the hands of your personal representative or children. This includes any updates to your trust, will, HIPAA, power of attorney, and health care proxy. Please consider bringing your advanced health care directive document with you when you travel, so emergency personnel can be informed. If you are an iPhone user, consider adding this information to your Health app, as emergency workers are still able to access it even if your phone is locked.
  • If you have not yet named a guardian for your minor children, it is important you do so. If you are planning to travel with minor children, remember to bring their passport, birth certificate, or any other credentials that prove their relationship to you. Especially if you plan to travel due to adoption, it is important to establish parentage rights in other countries before you leave.
  • Double check your life insurance policy to see if your coverage still fits your family’s needs. Consider getting long-term care insurance, in the event you or your spouse becomes injured while away.
  • Consider travel insurance as some options include provisions for repatriation of remains to transport a body back to their home.
  • Ensure your digital assets are secure and known to your personal representative. This includes organizing and creating a paper trail of all your logins and passwords to key accounts, even social media accounts.
  • Talk to your personal representative and/or children and let them know your plans for travel, your estate plan location, and any emergency contacts. The more you discuss your plans, the more everyone feels comfortable and ready.
  • If you are divorced and have minor children, consider taking written documentation authorizing consent to travel from the other parent.
  • If you are traveling outside of the United States, take pictures of your identification cards, including passports, to help you establish yourself more easily at an embassy.

At Wiles Law, we want you to confidently enjoy your summer vacation, whether domestic or international. Even if it is just a road trip across country for a family reunion, you and your immediate family deserve to be protected. Let us help you make these quick updates or changes to important documents before you leave. When packing for vacation, we all create a “to do list” of things to tackle or remember before leaving. Do not forget to add these eight items to your list to ensure your safety and coverage. If all these items have already been completed, do not forget to check your plan again for any updates you may need to make, such as life events of marriage, a move, birth, or even if you prefer to make a change in beneficiary. Estate planning is an on-going task that should be considered every three to five years as your life changes. Using every major trip as a reminder to update your plan will help you create peace of mind while on vacation and leave a gift to your heirs.