My wife and I enjoy traveling; when our son was younger, we went as a family, and now that he has a family of his own, we enjoy trips as a couple. One of the things we always do before traveling is to make sure that all our legal documents are in order, which includes our wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, living wills, determinations of guardian, and so on.
When our son was younger, we made sure to leave documents so that our family could take him to doctors/hospitals/schools if we were not here or if something happened to us while traveling. We also left documents regarding who would be our son’s legal guardian while he was underage, should something were to happen to both of us while traveling.
Why is this important any time you travel? Because unfortunately, you never know when a disaster or an emergency can occur. Most of us have seen the news where someone was on vacation going to the store and was hit by a motor vehicle causing death or severe injury. We have had friends that had a medical emergency while traveling and were rendered unconscious or otherwise incapacitated and needed someone to make medical or other decisions for them. What happens to your minor child at home? Who will assume responsibility for their health and well-being? Who will take them to school, to the doctor, to a hospital, to sporting events, or after-school activities?
These are the things we need to prepare for while we can, in case something was to happen to one or both parents. It is also essential to have health care authorizations between spouses, which should even name an additional person should that spouse be unable to make medical decisions. It is better to be prepared and have all the relevant documents ready should the situation arise where they are needed than not to have them and then having to turn to the courts for authorization to act.
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