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Vacation Ready: Essential Legal Preparations for a Worry-Free Getaway

Vacations are a time to relax and create memories with your loved ones. Ensuring that your legal affairs are in order will allow you to fully relax during your adventures.



Can’t imagine doing one more thing before you take some much-needed time away? Don’t worry - we are here to guide you through each step, so you can enjoy your vacation worry-free. This process won’t take much time to complete and can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that you have made proper arrangements if the unexpected happens to you or your family while you’re away.


1. Create Powers of Attorney

Whether you’re traveling overseas or just a few hours away, it's important to have Powers of Attorney (POA) in place for both health care and financial matters before you leave.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney designates someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated during your vacation. While no one plans to become incapacitated, accidents can happen.


A Financial Power of Attorney empowers a trusted individual to manage your financial affairs for you. You can give someone the authority to manage your investments or pay your bills away while you’re gone or have it as a safety net in case you become incapacitated or can’t be reached while traveling.


By having these documents prepared ahead of time, you can ensure that no matter what hiccups you run into on your travels, your wishes for your health will be respected and your financial affairs will be handled according to your instructions, even when you're away.


2. Nominate Permanent Legal Guardians for Your Kids

As a parent, naming a Permanent Guardian for your children is one of the most important decisions you can make. While it's a difficult topic to consider, designating a Permanent Legal Guardian ensures that your children will be cared for by someone you trust if the unexpected happens while you're on vacation.


Consider taking some time to choose someone who shares your values, loves your children, and is willing to take on the responsibility of raising them. Anyone you trust to raise your kids is a better choice than leaving the decision up to a judge who doesn’t know you or your family.


By documenting your chosen Guardian, you make sure your children will be cared for by someone who loves them and knows them if the unthinkable happens to you. You can always update your choice at any time in the future as your children and their relationships change over time.


3. Designate Short-Term Guardians for Your Kids

In addition to naming a Permanent Guardian, it's equally important to consider designating Short-Term Legal Guardians for your children. Short-Term Guardians step in when the Permanent Guardian lives far away, or in case of a short-term, immediate emergency.


You can give multiple people the authority to be your child’s Short-Term Guardian, including relatives, neighbors, or nannies. When planning a vacation, it’s a good idea to name any adults who your child will be staying with while traveling with you or staying home.


If your child is spending the week at their grandparents’ house, you should name their grandparents as Short-Term Guardians and give them medical Power of Attorney for your minor child. If your child is traveling with you, naming any adult travel companions as Short-Term Guardians and consider giving them medical Powers of Attorney in case a Guardian or Medical POA is needed for your child while on your trip.


We recommend discussing this arrangement with the individuals you've chosen and make sure they’re aware of their roles and responsibilities. By establishing Short-Term Guardians and Medical POAs, you can ensure that your children are well-cared immediately for in the event of an emergency.


4. Tell the People You Trust About Your Plans

Tell the people you trust know about your travel plans and the preparations you’ve made, including where you’ll be staying and how to get in contact with you.


We recommend discussing with them any legal documents you've put in place, and how to access them if needed. Share this information with your chosen guardians, family members, and close friends. By keeping everyone in the loop, you can ensure that your wishes are clear, and your loved ones can act swiftly and effectively in case of an emergency.


You should also provide your loved ones with my contact information in case they need copies of your Powers of Attorney or kid’s Guardianship documents or need them delivered digitally.


Estate Planning for The Life (And Vacation) You Deserve

As you pack your bags and prepare for your vacation, don't overlook the importance of handling your legal affairs. Taking the time to create Powers of Attorney, Permanent and Short-Term Legal Guardians for your children, and communicating your plans to trusted individuals can provide you with peace of mind and save your family incredible stress if there’s an emergency while you’re away.


To ensure that these documents are prepared correctly and in accordance with your state's laws, I recommend meeting with an attorney and avoiding online templates. In an initial meeting with us, I start by getting to know you and your family and reviewing what you own and who you love to make sure everything and everyone is protected and cared for in the best way possible when you pass away or if you become incapacitated.


And if we find that things wouldn’t go the way you wanted if something happened to you, we can discuss creating a custom estate plan that leaves no rock unturned.


This article is a service of Jennifer Winegardner of Rayboun Winegardner, PLLC. We do not just draft documents; we help you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session,™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.


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