Traveling for the Holidays? Here are 5 things to think about before you make that drive or flight.
A good portion of our practice is estate planning. To us, this means working with our clients to avoid things they want to avoid, or to hit goals they have sighted in on.
There are so many great tools to accomplish you and your spouse’s goals, but let’s just focus on the worries that can plague holiday travel.
- Get a Medical Power of Attorney
This is a big one to us at Regan & Frisbie. I’ve seen too many issues that happen when someone is injured or sick and unable to make decisions for themselves. This document will let a proxy or surrogate make basic decisions for the person executing it. Nowadays, hospitals and primary care providers can be very difficult to deal with if an adult does not have one of these in place before debility. I even tell client’s to get one off the internet if they have no other alternative, but get one in place for every adult in your family.
- Get a HIPPAA Waiver.
This one is almost as important as the first one. Do you have an adult child in college, or one that lives alone and is unmarried? If the unthinkable happens, and they don’t have a waiver in place beforehand, you as the parent may be in for a shock when you attempt to step in and help your child. Again, you don’t have to come here, but get one done for yourself and loved ones. It’s cheap and complies with federal law, so it will move across jurisdictions if you are traveling around the country, or if your child is in school somewhere else.
- Think About Getting a Power of Attorney.
Depending on your family dynamic it may behoove you to get one of these in place before you pack those bags. This document lets the person you designate handle financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated. It’s great for allowing a adult child to pay bills if the unexpected happens. Don’t panic, a power of attorney can be tailored to be a broad, or as narrow as you desire.
- Think about issues with children and their care.
If you are the caregiver for one or more minor children, consider doing some research on what will be necessary to allow another party to make decisions regarding their care. Sometimes there can be issues if your child is staying with a relative and consent is needed for medical care or other issues.
- Think About Getting a Will.
Although you may be best served by some other form of planning for your family. Getting a will done in the interim can be a quick way to ensure you have your family or loved one’s covered. I never recommend that people make their own wills, but if you are about to hop in the car to make a trip down those icy roads, you can write down some general wishes that will be honored. Handwritten wills are not great, but they are still valid in Texas. Jot down what your wishes are, sign it, and leave it in a safe place.
There you go, a sobering list, but a little forethought can save a lot of headache later.
Zane Frisbie is a Partner at Regan & Frisbie, PLLC, located in Plano, Texas. Our firm serves the Plano and Frisco area in North Dallas. You can reach him at 469-200-4737 with questions, or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice and does not indicate that an attorney/client relationship exists. If you have specific needs for representation, call our firm and we will be happy to talk.