Unusual To-Do’s Before Your Next Trip

Guest Post By Shreya Lay — Estate Planning Attorney

I had been accepted to speak at a conference in Norway.  Last minute (awfully routed) ticket – check; connecting with friends of friends for a free place to stay (and some local guides) – check; conference sign-up and presentation – check, check!

Bergen is beautiful.  April is not necessarily the best time to go there; it’s that sometimes cold, often still gloomy spring that us Seattleites are all too familiar with. As I flew over the small islands, some of them with only a boat and a cabin on them, flying into Bergen on a cloudy day, I couldn’t help but smile though.

The trip and conference were both great.  Something that was not so great though? The fact that while I was gone, some doofus had gone on a fast food spree with my credit card number back in the States.

They had a great time – vape store, KFC (Popeye’s is better though, come on), Jack-in-the-Box, and some ice cream store.  And while I do have my guilty pleasures, even I cannot cop to spending 50-plus dollars at a Jack-in-the-Box.

This was a huge hassle.  1) I was halfway across the world and they were telling me that I couldn’t use my card.  2) The bank needed me to physically come in and sign an affidavit affirming that these charges were not me.

What are the options here?

As an aside, yes, I need a different bank that doesn’t make it such a hassle to deal with stolen credit card numbers.

However, also, here is where we talk about this weird thing that single people (or people without kids) often don’t talk about: Estate Planning and why it’s a good thing to have for solo trips.

Yeah, I know – you’re thinking that you don’t need it.  You don’t have an “estate” yet or you don’t have kids that you need to plan for.  You’re not worried about dying or passing on your “legacy.”

Well, here’s the thing: estate planning is not just about STUFF.  It’s about you, emergency planning, and your choices for who gets to control your money and how, and who gets to control your body (medical treatment) and what choices they make.

While I was halfway across the world, my husband could go in and sign an affidavit on my behalf only because he had a power of attorney document to do so.  And, if you’re halfway across the world and a bigger emergency than a random fast food spree in middle-of-nowhere Texas happens – you might need someone back in the States to be able to make medical, legal, and financial decisions for you.  

Estate planning includes those types of decisions – medical power of attorney, healthcare directives, and financial power of attorney PLUS decisions about who gets your stuff – which, if you’re using a financial planner like Levi, you’re going to have an estate to worry about someday anyway.  You might as well start thinking about it now.

For assistance with estate planning, contact Shreya Ley at layroots.com.