As You Travel this Holiday Season . . .

It is estimated that over 55 million Americans will kick off the holiday season by traveling to a family member’s or on a getaway this Thanksgiving.[1]  Holidays are a great time to see loved ones and learn about what everyone has been doing. And, with the hecticness it may seem easier to put off topics like estate planning until the new year, but the holidays are actually a great time to consider the matter.

Traveling can prompt discussions to ensure you have a plan in place in case of an accident. Topics to consider before setting off include:

  • Creating a power of attorney for finances that identifies who you would want to make financial and legal decisions for you if you were no longer able to;
  • Naming a health care representative who would make medical decisions for you if you were no longer able to;
  • Selecting individuals to have HIPAA authorizations so they can receive necessary medical information;
  • Documenting what your health care wishes would be under various circumstances with advanced directives; and,
  • Naming guardians for minor children.

While the conversations may be daunting, discussing these topics with family ahead of time can help loved ones take over should they need to. Our firm recognizes the value of planning proactively. We use estate planning tools that allow individuals to create personalized plans that keep them in control while they can be, select who would take over control when they are no longer able to handle everything, dictate how they want their belongings to be distributed, and protect loved ones. A proactive discussion keeps family members informed about the planning you’ve already done, your wishes, and where they can find any important documents in case of emergency. 

The holidays also provide an excellent opportunity to discuss other family matters as everyone is gathered together.  While you are together you could consider what your goals are for now and into the future, what you would want your great-grandkids to remember about you and your family, and what memories or traditions you would like to share with future generations. Discussing these topics and sharing your ideas, values, and life’s legacies with your family now may help them after you’re gone. It can help strengthen family connections and enrich your children’s and grandchildren’s lives, adding to their perspective of how you wish to see them grow and prosper. 

For more information about planning techniques, please contact our office at (248) 409-0256. We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about our process.