Holiday travel and estate planning
During the rush of planning holiday travel, we can often forget to organise what could potentially affect our lives and loved ones the most, estate planning documents.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual or organisation to act on your behalf. Appointing a General Power of Attorney gives the attorney wide powers to undertake actions on your behalf, such as dealing with property or paying bills. However, if the Will Maker dies or loses mental capacity a General Power of Attorney ceases. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be appointed to overcome these limitations.
An Enduring Guardian is someone you appoint to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for you when you are not capable of doing so yourself. Enduring Guardianship will only come into effect if or when you lose capacity and will be effective during the period of incapacity, and may therefore never become operational. This is a good way to plan for the future, particularly for unforeseen situations.
A Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian are complementary documents that can be made separately or together. This gives you more choice as to who would have the authority to make decisions across all areas of your life if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Before travelling over the holidays, ensure these important documents are in place so you and your loved ones will be taken care of, and matters can be settled the way you choose. Some questions to consider before travelling are:
- Have you named guardians for your children?
- Did you create powers of attorney and/or enduring guardians in case you get into an accident and cannot make decisions about your health or finances?
- Have you outlined specific medical details? E.g. are you an organ donor?
- Have you updated all your beneficiary designations?
- Are your last wishes laid out for your family?
- Can someone locate these documents, either physically or electronically?