The last thing that you want to think about before your holidays is getting your affairs in order but ultimately savvy travellers are those who prepare for worst-case scenarios. Any holiday or travel plans come with an increased risk. Whether you are going snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef or heading to your holiday home for the weekend, if something does go awry, your travel companions will be able to manage the situation with greater ease if your affairs are in order.
But more than that, making a will before you go on holiday can give you and your loved ones peace of mind. It is unlikely that something will happen to you or your travel companions but regardless, the “what if’s” can hold you back from fully enjoy your time away. Think of your will planning in the same way you would travel insurance. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it but you will be glad to have it taken care of if you do.
Passing Without a Will and Estate Plan
If you pass without a will your assets will go into interstate. This means the court will make important decisions on your behalf such as who will receive your property and who will act as the legal guardian of your children or other dependants. These outcomes might not be what you would have chosen yourself and can lead to family strike, or a loved one being left out. The only way to ensure your final wishes are respected is by creating a last will and testament.
If you already have a will in place, ensure it is up to date. This includes reviewing who you have chosen as an executor or as guardians for minors under your care. If you haven’t looked over your will in a while, it might not reflect your current wishes. For example, divorces, blended families, and the passing of a loved one could impact who you would like to manage your estate or care for your dependents.
Consider a Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney
It is important to remember to add a Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney to your estate plan. A Personal Directive allows a representative who is chosen on your behalf to make personal decisions for you when you are no longer capable or cannot advocate for yourself. Decisions can include anything from your choice of medical treatment and body organ donation to instructions regarding your children.
On the other hand, your representative under an Enduring Power of Attorney can access or manage your accounts, properties, or financial assets if you are not capable.
These documents are sometimes called a living will since they allow your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf while you are still alive.
Before you go on holiday, it is crucial to share pertinent information with your executor or loved ones such as where your will is stored. Even things that might seem insignificant at the time, such as sharing social media and financial login information (or where to find them), can be beneficial if there is a crisis.
There is so much to arrange when someone dies abroad — contacting the embassy, registering the death, and making funeral arrangements. If your last will and testament are updated and easy to find, this can significantly ease the burden on your loved ones.
Enlisting the help of a skilled wills and estates lawyer can save you time and stress so you can focus on planning the rest of your holiday. Choose one with experience in your locality, so you can ensure you are protected.