While you’re thinking about all the to-dos before you travel, there is one thing you should probably consider adding to the list – making a will.
We’re not saying you should expect the worst on your trip. You’ll likely be back at home, safe and sound, and reminiscing about the beach in no time! However, in the event of an unexpected emergency you want to make sure you’re prepared.
Whether you’re planning a weekend road trip in your province or your next global adventure, here are 5 reasons why you should consider adding estate planning to your pre-travel checklist.
1. Prepare for the unexpected
If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years, it’s to expect the unexpected. The travel landscape can change at any moment and it’s important to be prepared. Most of us immediately think of things like travel insurance, calling your bank, and ensuring you have emergency funds.
But, if COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen when you’re away from home. It might feel morbid to think about, but having a will can ensure your loved ones are protected if you were to unexpectedly pass away during your travels.
Like insurance, it’s one of those things where you hope you don’t need it yet, but you’ll feel at ease knowing you’ve made a plan – just in case.
2. Plan for your children
If you have any dependent children, your #1 goal is like to them safe and protected at all times!
When it comes to protecting the future of your children, one of the most important things you can do is appoint a guardian in your will. If you ever pass away unexpectedly, your will can formally communicate to your loved ones, who you’d like to take care of your children.
This is particularly important if you plan on travelling without your dependents for any reason. This way, if anything happens to you while you’re away, you know there’s a plan in place for them.
If you die without a will, the courts will appoint a guardian for you and this may not be the person you would have wanted.
In your will, you can also make a plan for your children’s inheritance – how much you’d like to leave them and when you’d like it to become available to them!
3. Protect your personal, financial, and health decisions
Estate planning isn’t just about making a will. It also includes making power of attorney for property and personal care. POA documents can help protect you if you experienced a medical emergency while travelling that left you incapacitated.
With a POA you can designate a trusted person to help make decisions about your finances, medical care, property, and personal care if you’re unable to do so yourself. This could include anything from communicating your medical wishes to maintaining your property.
In your power of attorney documents, you can even outline your wishes to help guide the person you’ve appointed.
You can think of your POA as a form of disability insurance – it protects you while you’re still alive. Your will on the other hand, like life insurance, takes care of your loved ones after you pass away.
If you’re taking an extended trip, you can also consider a limited power of attorney. The role is similar to what we described above, but it’s not tied to your mental capacity. This just gives someone the power to act on your behalf while you’re away for an extended period of time. (Willful does not offer limited power of attorneys at this time!)
4. Bring you and your loved ones peace of mind
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of “I know there’s something I should do, but I’ll just do it later.” Except maybe that feeling while you’re trying to unplug and relax on vacation.
Don’t let not having an estate plan be the reason for the dark cloud following you around on your travels. Making your will may not be as fun as pre-travel shopping (although, we know a few Willful customers that might disagree!), but it’s a simple task that can bring you additional peace of mind.
You’ll enjoy your vacation so much more, knowing that your loved ones and family will be protected in an emergency.
5. It’s easier than you think!
Your will and power of attorney documents aren’t just important for travelling - they’re one of the most important documents you can have to protect yourself and your loved ones.
A lot of Canadians tend to put off estate planning, assuming it’s costly and time-consuming. This isn’t true at all! In fact, with Willful you can make your will for as little as $99, and in less than 20 minutes. Let’s be honest, if you’re anything like us, that’s less time than it takes to pack a suitcase.
So whether you’re taking off on your next adventure or exploring your own backyard, consider prioritizing writing your will so you can enjoy that additional peace of mind.