Before your trip, your itinerary may consist of packing your bags, confirming all your reservations, and even getting your house in order. The last thing you may consider doing at this time is locating your estate planning documents, let alone making edits to them. However, you may want to start incorporating this into your future pre-trip checklists. Read on to discover the reasons to update your estate plan before traveling and how one of the seasoned Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can suggest additional edits.
Why should I consider an update on my estate plan before traveling?
Understandably so, you may not want to think about the possibility of something bad happening on your trip. What’s worse is to have thoughts of life-threatening incidents. But this mindset may be necessary for the sake of your loved ones.
For example, say that during your travel you, unfortunately, endure a catastrophic accident that results in your wrongful death. Well, you do not want your loved ones to be left clueless as to where to track down your estate planning documents; or otherwise left wondering whether you established any documents in the first place. This is because, if they cannot confirm the existence of these documents, your estate may be placed in the hands of the Pennsylvania probate court. This may ultimately lead to an estate administration that does not work in anyone’s favor or best wishes. Of note, the same sequence of events may apply if your estate plan is not updated.
What information should I ensure is up-to-date?
It is one thing to inform your loved ones on how to access your estate planning documents in the event of your sudden passing during your travel. But again, this initiative may go in vain if the information within these documents no longer serves as an accurate depiction of your current estate. Without further ado, before traveling, it is in your best interest to ensure that the following information is up-to-date:
- You should update your life insurance coverage to pay for costs in the event of injury, illness, or death during your travel.
- You should update information regarding a beneficiary who has become incapacitated since your initial estate plan establishment.
- You should update information that reflects since-made changes made to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s updated tax laws.
- You should update information that reflects since-made changes in your family dynamic (i.e., the birth of a grandchild, death of a child, divorce from a spouse, etc).
- You should update information that reflects since-made changes in your financial standing (i.e., since-bought assets, assets lost in a divorce, received inheritances, etc).
This is all to say that you should use your next trip as your deadline for getting these updates done. Undoubtedly, there is a lot to be considered with editing an estate plan. So please initiate a conversation with one of the competent Butler County estate planning attorneys as soon as possible. Someone at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC is awaiting your phone call.