Well, this week one of my assistants is off traveling out of the country, and she is going alone. While that decision was not mine to make, one of my concerns was, not surprisingly, how do things in your life get handled if the trip does not go as planned. Of course, Woless (as my Wonderful Legal Assistant who needs to be anonymous shall be named in this blog) immediately thought I was suggesting a death or serious injury. Of course not!! Statistically, most trips go very smoothly without major hiccups. However, those minor hiccups, which can be merely annoying if kept minor, can become more significant if not attended to properly. Suppose your passport is lost, and you don’t have a copy. That would be a minor hiccup if you have saved an electronic version in the cloud or with a good friend who is not traveling with you….or a major hiccup if you are traveling alone. What if your flight gets delayed for 48 hours–a minor hiccup when the airline offers to put you up a nice hotel with a per diem so your vacation can continue a bit longer, but a major hiccup if you have to close on your dream home, and you don’t have the paperwork to allow someone else to operate in your place during your “incapacity”. Or what if the most recent storm we had here in Michigan, results in tree damage to your house, but as you are out of the country on a boat looking at beautiful birds, you can’t access your insurance information to call and make a claim and retain a contractor to prevent any further damage to your residence. There are lots of ways to prevent these issues from becoming anything major or costly, and, for those of you who read my blogs, you know that the answer is PLANNING!
Remember, there are ways to draft documents to prevent these minor hiccups from becoming major problems. Having up to date disability documents can allow another individual to act on your behalf, should you be unable, and allow transactions to consider smoothly. Whether these powers should be effective immediately or in the event of disability, is a decision that you should make with your close legal adviser. Many of my most wonderful memories involve traveling, and I wholeheartedly support people in seeing the world, experiencing other cultures, and getting away from your normal life to experience something different. And to make sure that your trip will be as stress free as possible? Plan ahead!!
By the way, I have every expectation that Woless is having an amazing trip and great experience. Maybe we can feature pictures from the trip in upcoming blogs—until then, prepare to plan, and plan to prepare!