Brian Quinn talks about preparing for trip or vacation, and what kind of planning should be done to prepare for the unexpected. What happens if you become injured, incapacitated, or worse? How will decisions be made regarding your health care, your material possessions, and your children? Learn about the four core documents you should consider, and what kind of advance planning is recommended. (Run time 3:50)
So we are going to take about a topic that I actually have thought about a lot because I sometimes can be a worst case scenario type of person. And every time I’ve gone on a big trip I have tried to think through a lot of things I probably should do just in case something happens. And that’s the focus of today.
And I would say that there’s probably three things that really bring my clients into the office right before they go on vacation, and just a couple questions that are in their mind. What if something happens to me if I’m in an accident, I can’t get home right away, of even if I’m disabled for a period of time, who’s going to make some decisions for me?
If that accident leads to my passing, what happens to my stuff, what happens to my car, my house, my accounts? And for individuals that have children, who’s going to take care of my kids?
And there’s really, I think, four documents that are important to meet… there’s a lot of different documents you could do, but your four core documents to think about would be a financial power of attorney to make sure that someone can step into your shoes if you’re disabled and make financial decisions for you, make sure your bills get paid, car payments are paid on time, access bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, and things like that.
Healthcare power of attorney, which is probably your most important estate planning document, to allow someone to step into your shoes, talk to doctors, make medical decisions for you.
And then also for individuals that have children, a will is really important to make sure that you have a guardian appointed. Someone that can step into your shoes, raise your children, make decisions for them as far as education and other things.
And then also thinking about a trust to make sure there are funds set aside for children, and also things just go smoothly in case something happens to you.
And we’re talking about this now because it is spring break time, but these aren’t the type of things that you leave until you are packing on Friday morning for your flight at noon on Friday. You need to go ahead and start thinking about these… weeks in advance? A month in advance? What would you recommend?
I think right now is a great time no matter what your situation is, but certainly weeks in advance if not months in advance would be the right time to do it. I have a lot of clients that will call and they’ll say, “Hey, is there any way we can get in on your calendar and get this done in two weeks?”
And although that is possible, it is difficult to get done. And they’re such important documents, I usually like my clients to have some time to go over them, make sure everything’s right, and not be in a rush to get them signed, but still have them prior to whenever they would need them.
And we’re talking about taking a trip. I would assume this is very important if you go overseas.
Oh, very, very important. My wife and I recently took a vacation, and we have a three-year-old and a two-year-old at home. And while they are wonderful little kids, they are in no way in any shape or form able to make any decisions for themselves. We’re still working on that whole potty training thing.
But we actually had a separate power of attorney prepared for my in-laws and my parents who were helping take care of them while we were gone, just so that they could seek medical treatment in case we weren’t able to get back and something happened quickly.
At the end of the day, this is the type of thing that you want to have done and then never use.