2011 Vacation destination: Butchart Gardens
Vacation Advice from
Your Estate Planning Attorney
July 29, 2011

Summer vacations bring you to lots of fun places, interesting sites, and crazy-different activities. Before you go, we want to suggest a few simple steps you can take to make sure that your family and finances are protected in case something unexpected happens.

Discrimination 101:
Pack a Copy of Your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care


At the dock in San Francisco When you visit another state you may be faced with a confused tangle of laws that will compound the unpleasantness of any emergency that crops up.


If you are in a registered domestic partnership or part of a same-sex couple who were married before the passage of Proposition 8, the rights of you and your spouse may change dramatically when you cross the state line. Along with your toothbrush, pack a copy of your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.  


Married couples of different genders don't have to worry that their spouse will be barred from visiting them in a hospital or kept from making medical decisions for them. However, many jurisdictions do not recognize marriages of same-sex couples and do not give spousal rights to domestic partners at all.  


If you are in a non-traditional relationship which is valid under California law, we recommend that you pack a copy of your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare to improve the chances that your wishes will be respected in other jurisdictions.

The World Continues to Turn

Vacation destination: Cartegena, Columbia 2011 When you leave on vacation, it's hard to remember that the real world will continue to grind on in your absence.  It will!

Make sure that those left behind - including businesses with their pesky payment due dates - are taken care of. 
  • Pay the minimum amount for all credit cards and make reoccurring payments that occur during your vacation. You don't want to interrupt looking at the midnight sun to make a telephone transfer payment to the mortgage company.

    Vacation destination:  Egypt, 2011 Put your payments in envelopes with sticky notes on them giving the date the payments should be mailed by your house sitter or trusted friend.  You want to make sure your vacation payment arrives when it is clearly the monthly payment and is not an extra amount sent in for the prior period. 
  • Give someone the authority to write checks on your checking account to pay bills. If  your return to the real world is unexpectedly delayed, or if some unplanned event causes you to need money on your travels, a trusted family member or friend who is authorized to write checks for you can be a godsend.
  • Share Online Banking User Names and Passwords.   If one spouse normally does all the online financial transactions, before you go on vacation make sure that both of you know the login credentials and PIN numbers of the joint accounts.  If some misadventure knocks the designated banker out of commission for a bit, the other person should be able to access the couple's money.
  • Make sure that someone has access to your computer and email accounts. 
    Important Vacation destination: Cartegena, Columbia 2011information and notices are increasingly arriving by electronic methods.  You need to be able to access news and have documents forwarded to you.

    There are plenty of places you may stay on vacation without reliable Internet com-
    munications.  Or, your email account may not be set-up to retrieve information remotely. The solution is to have someone back home who checks your email for important messages. 
Be Prepared


Many people tell us they want to make sure they're prepared in the off chance that something untoward will happen to them on vacation. They want to have updated estate planning documents signed before leaving.Vacation Destination: Cabo



We're happy to help you.  


Of course, please give the estate planning attorney who is not going on vacation this summer sufficient time to prepare your documents.  


Twenty-four or even 48 hours is normally not enough time to schedule and complete a thoughtful, thorough estate plan (even though it's been done upon occasion).


Call us today, hopefully a few weeks before your departure. Then you can leave on vacation with your up-to-date estate documents signed, and we'll even make the copies of the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and other papers you want to pack in your suitcase.


Vacation destination: Victoria, Canada's Butchart Gardens Relax. Be Happy!



It's a vacation!  


Just like the purity of Ivory Soap, 99 94/100% of vacations go flawlessly.  They need none of the documents or preparation we've mentioned.  


We think you are going to have a great time.


Of course, we invite you to phone us at 415.482.7555 for a pre-vacation review of your estate plans or for any estate planning, trust, or probate assistance.



Julia P. Wald
The Law Offices of Julia Wald