The Wealth Advisor
Planning Your Summer Vacation? 5 Things to Consider Now
In many states, winter is starting to thaw and flowers are beginning to bud. This can only mean one thing: summer vacation planning season is here. As vacation planning kicks into high gear, here are a few important things to add to your vacation readiness checklist.
If you have not completed or updated a guardian nomination, now is the time to do so. Without this nomination, the court will determine who will raise your child if something were to happen to you, and it may not be the person you want.
For example, Sally has two boys. She’s concerned about who will raise them if she is not able to do so. Sally’s younger sister, Carey, is fairly wealthy (thanks to a favorable divorce settlement), is unemployed, and lives a life of leisure. Her carefully curated social media would have you believe she’s a well-off, stable jetsetter. On the other hand, Sally’s older sister Tracy is the total opposite. She recently adopted a boy with special needs from the foster system, and although she works incredibly hard at a museum, she does not earn much income. If a court were to look compare them, Carey could very well be the clear winner for guardianship. But, Carey is the last person Sally would ever want raising her kids because Carey does not share the same values or respect for hard work. Sally is also concerned that Carey would fight hard to win custody of the boys just so she would gain access to the boy’s inheritance.
Unfortunately, situations like Sally’s are a common occurrence for parents who haven’t named a guardian, and the courts do not have the resources to do a deep-dive into everyone’s background. This is why the nominations are so important. The guardianship nominations give you the opportunity to make your wishes known to the court. By having the guardianship nomination prepared, Sally can ensure that Tracy, who shares her values, will be the one raising her boys.
Beneficiary designations and other funding issues
Beyond beneficiary designations, other funding issues with trust-based plans are sadly common. But many can be easily and quickly fixed. If you’ve opened a new bank or investment account, or bought a different home, let us know so we can work with you to update the funding of your trust. This type of work is just like touching up the paint at your house – quick and painless if you do it on a regular schedule – but a much bigger project if you let it wait. The great news is that you’ll rest easy on your vacation, knowing everything is in order back home.
Advance directive and powers of attorney
Now’s the time to get started so everything is in place before your upcoming travel. Please remember that it may take three to six weeks to complete a comprehensive plan or revise an existing one, so plan ahead and don’t wait until the eve of your vacation to get your estate plan refreshed. Call now!
Sellers Johnson Law • 1 Research Court, Suite 450 • Rockville, Maryland 20850 • (240) 988-5530