Estate PlanninG

4 People You Need On Your Planning Team for Your Next Adventure

You feel confident you can plan an amazing travel adventure by yourself. You know what you and your travel companions want to see and do, how much you're willing to pay, and the most convenient times to travel. While making travel arrangements may be okay to do yourself, you need to consider calling in a special planning team to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected during your travels and afterward. It's wise to schedule appointments with the following individuals before you leave on your next adventure.

A financial advisor

A financial advisor can help ensure your finances are in order and accessible. When traveling, you'll want to make sure you have access to your money and can reach your financial advisor if necessary. If there is an emergency, access to your funds is crucial. Additionally, while traveling, you may want to make a large purchase. But what happens if the item you want to buy exceeds the amount you brought with you? You may need a financial advisor's assistance to access your money to buy your once-in-a-lifetime memento or souvenir.

An insurance agent

An insurance agent can help you review or obtain necessary insurance policies. First, if you have existing life insurance policies, it's important that you periodically review your policies and beneficiary designations. Preparing for a vacation is a great time to conduct this review. When reviewing your policy, consider the following questions:

  • Who is listed as the primary and contingent beneficiaries?
  • Do you want to make any changes?
  • Does your beneficiary designation match your existing estate plan (especially if you have a trust and intend the trust to be the primary beneficiary of the life insurance policy and to govern how the policy proceeds are handled)?

Be aware that participating in high-risk activities (skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, etc.) may void your coverage under your life insurance policy.

Second, travel insurance is an important level of protection that you should investigate. Because international travel can be more complicated than domestic travel and have more variables out of your control, travel insurance can help prevent additional costs you could incur in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.

Lastly, check with your health insurance carrier to see if your health insurance plan covers your care in a foreign country. If not, consider buying a temporary form of health insurance valid in the country or countries you will visit.

A tax professional

A tax professional can help educate you on potential tax liability. When traveling abroad, you will be subject to that country's taxes - which is important if you make a large purchase. For example, countries that are part of the European Union may add a Value Added Tax on purchased items. However, you may be able to get a refund of this tax from the country you are visiting by completing the necessary paperwork and providing receipts.

When returning to the United States, you may have to pay duties on your purchased items and how much that might cost. These rates could vary depending on the purchase price, where you made the purchase, and the type of item purchased.

An estate planning attorney

An estate planning attorney can make sure that your wishes are properly documented. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a financial power of attorney, we can ensure that you have a trusted decision maker in the United States that can manage your financial affairs without court involvement. The world does not stop just because you are on vacation, and your chosen person can step in for you while you are away (e.g., a check deposited, legal documents signed, etc.).

By preparing the appropriate state-specific documentation, we can also ensure that you give the full authority to the person you have chosen to care for your minor children while you are away. This document will temporarily allow your chosen caregiver to make medical and other important decisions for your child. Should your child need to go to the hospital or have a field trip permission form signed, the chosen caretaker can step in and keep your child safe, happy, and healthy.

Traveling the world is exciting! By assembling a planning team, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones are fully protected while you have the time of your life. We're here to assist you and any members of your planning team in ensuring that your next great adventure is a success. Call Santaella Legal Group, serving all of California, at (925) 831-4840.