Video – Estate Planning Vacation Tips: How a Lawyer Thinks About What You Should Do

June 30, 2020

These estate planning vacation tips from an estate planning lawyer will teach you how to plan a trip with additional peace of mind. Before you go, make sure that at least you have nominated guardians to protect your children. You can do it for free here:

If you want more estate planning tips for your family whether it’s a will, a trust, a guardianship, asset protection, or a power of attorney question, in the coming weeks, we’ll be providing the answers you can get by subscribing to this channel:

In this video, Family Business Lawyer Greg Gordillo talks about being asked for legal advice and how it made him think about 4 legal tasks everyone should do before leaving for family travel.


Going on vacation entails lots of planning: packing luggage, buying plane tickets, making hotel reservations, and confirming rental vehicles. But one thing a lot of people forget to do is plan for the worst. Traveling, especially in foreign destinations, means you’ll likely be at greater risk than usual for illness, injury, and even death.

In light of this reality, having a legally sound and updated estate plan in place before taking your next trip will give you that much more peace of mind that you are seeking while on vacation. And if don’t have your estate planning taken care of, your loved ones can face a legal nightmare if something should happen to you while you’re away. Here are 4 critical estate planning tasks to take care of before departing.

01:38 – Number 1. Name guardians for your minor children

If you’re the parent of minor children, your most important planning task is to legally document guardians to care for your kids in the event of your death or incapacity. These are the people whom you trust to care for your children—and potentially raise them to adulthood—if something should happen to you. Given the monumental importance of this decision, if you do only one thing I am suggesting in this video, do this. In fact, if you stick around until the end, I will tell you how you can get the process started with temporary documents for free.

Get started on the documents here:

02:17 – Number 2. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date

Some of your most valuable assets, like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, don’t transfer by a will or trust. Instead, they have beneficiary designations that allow you to name who you’d like to inherit the asset upon your death. You probably did this when you first opened the account or bought the policy, but you might have only named a primary beneficiary. That’s a mistake. You should have a primary beneficiary and at least one alternate beneficiary in case the primary dies before you. And as life happens, we often change our minds about who we want as those beneficiaries. But if you don’t change your account or policy records, the asset will go to someone you might wish weren’t getting it. So, these designations should be regularly reviewed and updated, especially following major life events like marriage, divorce, and having children. And if you haven’t done it recently, certainly do it before you leave for vacation.

03:22 – Number 3. Create power of attorney documents

Outside of death, unforeseen illness and injury can leave you incapacitated and unable to make critical decisions about your own well-being. Given this, you have to grant someone the legal authority to make those decisions on your behalf through power of attorney. You do this with two such documents: a medical power of attorney and a financial durable power of attorney. Your medical power of attorney gives the person of your choice the authority to make your healthcare decisions for you, while your durable financial power of attorney gives someone the authority to manage your finances. As with beneficiary designations, these decision makers can change over time, so before you leave for vacation, be sure both documents are up to date.

04:12 – Number 4. Organize your digital assets.

If you’re like most people, you probably have dozens of digital accounts like email, social media, cloud storage, and maybe even cryptocurrency. If these assets aren’t properly inventoried and accounted for, they’ll likely be lost forever if something happens to you. At minimum, you should write down the location and passwords for each account and ensure someone you trust knows what to do with these digital assets in the event of your death or incapacity. To make this process easier, consider using LastPass or a similar service that stores and organizes your passwords. I am not receiving any compensation from LastPass, but I will put a link in the description below if you want to check it out.


If you have a vacation planned, be sure to add these 4 items to your to-do list before leaving.

Start with the My Kids Protection Plan fro free here:

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