The Basic Estate Plan – Peace of Mind for the Savvy Traveler
May 23, 2007
Soon you will be taking a trip. Perhaps you are going to a place you have waited your whole life to see or maybe you are traveling to see your children who have moved away. Regardless of the destination, many people experience nervousness when planning a trip. If the trip involves an airplane flight, most would admit that they contemplate what would happen if the plane were to not make it safely to its destination. This is especially true when the traveler has failed to take basic steps to ensure their financial and personal safety should the worst come to bear while traveling. The best way to allay these fears is to establish a plan before you travel and before the need for a plan arises.
The need for a plan often becomes evident when a trip is planned, and there is not much time to establish the plan before departure. Still, before traveling, 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. The simplest plan will include three documents, which are a Last Will and Testament, a Health Care Proxy and a Durable Power of Attorney. If you are a homeowner, your basic plan should also include a Homestead Declaration.
God forbid you were to pass away while traveling, your family would no doubt be distraught due to the unexpected nature of your passing. Having a Last Will and Testament can provide some order in an otherwise chaotic situation. Your Will directs the disposition of your probate estate. A Will is also necessary so that you can 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 (as opposed to state law deciding) and you choose who will be responsible…
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by: Gina M. Barry, Esquire