Tips for Travel: Legal Documents Are Essential for Traveling with Peace of Mind

Here at Vitt Law Offices, PLC we believe that summer is the perfect time to travel! Jim and his family just returned from vacation in England and France. During the trip they experienced Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Versailles, The Arc de Triomphe, and so much more!

The Vitt Family at the London Eye in June 2014

The Vitt Family at the London Eye in June 2014

For many families, whether they have a big overseas trip coming up, or just a little weekend getaway on the horizon, the thought of travel brings up a common concern: what documents legal should be in place before traveling? Having the proper legal documents in place before travel is an essential part of the trip planning process, along with making hotel reservations and buying museum tickets.

Before you leave for your next vacation be sure to have the following documents in place and updated:

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to name another person as your agent who may make financial decisions in your place if you are incapacitated or, in the case of travel, unavailable. A Power of Attorney document can be tailored to your specific wishes about when your agent may act, and what type of authority your agent may exercise on your behalf.

Advanced Medical Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney

An Advanced Medical Directive allows you to express your wishes about your health care and end of life medical decisions, such as in what situations you would like for life support measures to be terminated or continued. Additionally, you may name an agent who may make medical decisions for you if doctors determine that you are not capable of making your own decisions.

HIPAA Authorization

U.S. law prohibits medical personnel and institutions from sharing information about a patient’s medical condition with your family and friends without express authorization. A HIPAA Authorization will allow you to name those people who you would like to have information about you if you have been hospitalized or are in the care of a doctor, but are unable to give authorization due to incapacity.

Revocable Living Trust or Will

Having a Revocable Living Trust or a Will in place is crucial regardless of whether or not you are traveling. Both a Revocable Living Trust and a Will give you the power to name those individuals and charities that would like to distribute your property to after you pass away. A Revocable Living Trust can provide additional benefits for property owners during their lifetime, and these benefits can be particularly useful for those who travel frequently. For more information on the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust, visit our website, or attend one of our upcoming regularly held Estate Planning Seminars.

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