Summer is almost here, and many of us are excitedly planning our vacations. Whether you're dreaming of a beach getaway, an adventurous road trip, or a quiet retreat, it's important to take care of some crucial tasks before you leave. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your estate plan is up to date. Here’s why you should update your estate plan before you head out on vacation.

Imagine that you're on vacation and suddenly have a medical emergency. If your trust documents aren’t up to date or easy to find, it can create a lot of stress and confusion. Here’s what you need to have in place:

Health Care Directive and HIPAA Documents: Be Ready for Emergencies

We can’t always predict when we will have a medical emergency. Imagine if you're on a dream vacation when suddenly, you have to be hospitalized. If you're incapacitated, who will speak for you? Having up-to-date healthcare documents such as an Advanced Health Care Directive and HIPAA Authorization ensures your wishes are known to doctors and those trying to help you can find out the status of your medical condition. Keeping copies easily accessible for your travel companions adds another layer of security.

Power of Attorney Documents

A financial power of attorney allows a designated person to take care of financial matters on your behalf if you are unable to. This gives you peace of mind knowing things are under control, even if you're stuck in a situation where you can't manage them yourself.

Guardianship Nominations to Protect Your Children

If you have minor children, you need to make sure your guardianship nominations are current and correct. This involves deciding who will take care of your kids if something happens to you. A Guardianship Nomination clearly states who you want to take care of your children if you become incapacitated or die. This makes sure they’re in good hands and have stability during a difficult time and can avoid confusion among family members. Updating your guardianship nominations before you travel gives you peace of mind knowing that your children’s future is secure, no matter what happens.

Trusts: Protect Your Assets

A trust is an important part of managing your assets and making sure they go to the right people and in the right way. Before you leave for vacation, make sure your trust is completed or updated and properly funded. Create a trust to outline how your assets will be managed and distributed or have your trust reviewed if it’s been 3-5 years since your last update.

Make Sure Your Trust Is Properly Funded

Make sure your assets, such as bank accounts, real estate, business interests, brokerage accounts, and other investments are transferred into the trust. A properly funded trust can help avoid probate, provide privacy and ensure a smooth transfer of your assets to your beneficiaries.

Don’t let the excitement of your upcoming trip overshadow the importance of being prepared. Take these steps now to ensure you’re ready for any situation that might arise while you’re away. After all, a well-planned estate is the key to a worry-free vacation. Happy travels and stay safe!

If you, a friend, or family member need help updating or establishing an estate plan, please reach out to our Intake Department at 760-448-2220 or at We have offices in San Diego County (Carlsbad) and Orange County (Laguna Niguel), but we assist can families throughout California as well.

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