Research estimates that as many as 60% of American adults don’t have any type of will or estate plan. People commonly put off estate planning for a variety of reasons. Some people may think they have plenty of time to plan their estates, so they continue to put off the responsibility until it may be too late.
One common trigger of last-minute estate planning is an upcoming vacation. Sometimes, when people plan a vacation, they realize that they don’t have any of their affairs in order. This can be a scary thought, especially since there is always some risk involved with traveling and vacationing in new places.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, don’t worry. Even when time is of the essence, it is still possible to quickly make preparations that you can change later if you want. Last-minute estate planning of this sort is often referred to as a “vacation estate plan.” Here’s what to know about this common type of estate planning.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Living Trust
Common parts of an estate plan include a will and a living trust. A will is a document you use to designate who will receive your property and assets when you die. A living trust is a document that appoints a trustee to manage your property and distribute it appropriately after your death. Both documents are important.
To avoid probate (a court-supervised process for settling a deceased person’s debts and distributing their property to beneficiaries and heirs), it is necessary to have both a will and living trust in place. Probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process. That is whyit is much better to have a vacation estate plan in place before you do anything risky than to have nothing in place at all. If you only have time for either a will or a living trust, your beneficiaries may be better off if you choose to do a living trust.
Documents Required for a Vacation Estate Plan
There are a few documents you’ll need to prepare for your vacation estate plan. They include:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Property (so you can appoint a responsible person to manage your property if you can no longer manage it yourself)
- Guardian of the Estate and Person form (for each minor child you have)
- Advance Health Care Directive form (so you can designate a responsible person to manage your healthcare needs if you can no longer manage them yourself)
Ideally, you will also be able to quickly prepare a will. If you already have a partial estate plan in place but haven’t finished it, do what you can to complete the estate plan before you leave on vacation. To save time on completing a will and living trust, enlist the help of a professional. Contact AmeriEstate for help with your estate planning needs.