Travel Peacefully with an Estate Plan in Place

I just returned from a long family road trip. We visited 20 states and drove about 7,300 miles! We visited my wife’s two sisters in Illinois and Texas, my cousin in Pennsylvania, my mission president and mission mom in Maryland, and some good friends from my mission in Alabama. We had a great time seeing the country, visiting historical landmarks and sites, making memories, and spending valuable time together. We are grateful to have made it back home safely. My kids are road warriors!

I’m almost certain that my family is not alone in using the summer time for vacationing. Summer is a great time to travel because school is out and the weather is nice. However, traveling can bring numerous worries to mind,especially when parents are traveling without their kids. I have received multiple calls from couples wanting to complete their estate planning before they leave on an upcoming vacation. They have expressed concerns about what would happen to their kids and their assets if something happened while they were traveling that prevented them from returning home.

Fortunately, I have been able to accommodate most of these families in completing their estate plans before they leave as long as they have given me a couple weeks’ notice. A lot of people wonder how long it takes to create an estate plan. For most cases, I like to set a 30-day time frame from the initial consultation to signing the documents. The first 2 weeks are used by the couple to complete an estate planning guide in preparation for a design meeting where we have an in-depth discussion on who will be the successor trustees, guardians for minors, healthcare agents, etc. After the design meeting, I draft and send the documents to the couple for review before our signing meeting which is scheduled 2 or 3 weeks later.

From personal experience, I can attest that traveling is much more peaceful when you have established your estate plan. There is an old saying that says the mechanic’s car is always the last to get fixed. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I prepared estate plans and told my clients about how important estate planning is for over two years before I finalized my own plan. Prior to setting up my estate plan, my wife and I went on a vacation to Hawaii leaving our two oldest kids in Utah. Although I enjoyed the vacation, I was unsettled in the back of my mind knowing that I had not prepared my family for the future if something happened to us. That Hawaii trip was a catalyst for me to get everything in order. If you are planning an upcoming vacation and want to maximize your peace of mind, don’t hesitate to give me a call!


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