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The Basic Estate Plan: Don’t Leave Home Without It

July 1, 2009


Summer is just around the corner, and many will be heading off for vacation. Some will visit far away places. Others will travel to see family or friends. When planning to travel, most people experience some nervousness. Most would admit that they contemplate what would happen if they were to not make it safely to or from their destination. The best way to quiet those fears is to establish a plan before you travel.

If you wait until you make travel plans to establish an estate plan, there usually will not be much time to establish the plan before departure. Still, you should at least establish a basic estate plan as having a basic plan is better than having no plan at all. Should your “travel plan” require refinement, you can always see to that upon your return. A simple, yet effective, plan includes three documents: (1) a Last Will and Testament; (2) a Health Care Proxy; (3) and a Durable Power of Attorney. If you are a homeowner, your basic plan should also include a Homestead Declaration.

Should you pass away while traveling, your family would surely be caught off guard. Having a Last Will and Testament can provide some order during that otherwise chaotic time. Your Will directs the disposition of your probate estate. In your Will, you will designate an Executor, who is the person who will carry out your estate. When you make a Will, you decide how your property will be divided, and you choose who will be responsible for carrying out your estate. This takes a tremendous burden off of your family members. …

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by: Gina M. Barry, Esq.

July 2009

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