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Vacation Time: Plan, Pack, and Power of Attorney

The summer season is upon us and that means it’s almost time to take that great vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Hopefully, you have already found your destination and are already planning all the details. You spend significant time selecting where you are going to stay, what kind of activities you’re going to do, and what local favorites are you going to dine at. Then you start thinking about what clothes you are going to pack and whether you need bring along the golf clubs or purchase a new swimsuit. All this time goes into the vacation planning, now it is time to take a short amount of time and make sure you have valid powers of attorney in place.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person that you trust to act as your agent at a time when you cannot act for yourself. It is always important to have powers of attorney in place all the time, but it more important when you are going on a vacation. A durable power of attorney allows your agent to deal with a legal or business matter at a time where you can’t handle it yourself. So while you are on vacation, an unexpected legal or business matter arises and requires immediate attention. It is not feasible for you to handle it because you are away on vacation and you need someone back home to help you take care of it.  Your agent acting as power of attorney would be able to assist in resolving the issue. On the other hand, a medical power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent that can make medical decisions for you if you are in a position where you are unable to do so. What if you get into an accident while you are on vacation and end up in a medical facility in another city. A power of attorney would be vital for the treating physician to have so they can discuss the situation with your agent to help make the appropriate medical decisions on your behalf.

I will conclude by leaving you a hypothetical situation. You are at the airport to fly out for your long awaited vacation and the TSA line to go through security is exceedingly long. You have already placed your wallet and purses in to the security bins along with your shoes so that you are standing in your socks holding your ticket waiting to go through security detectors. The TSA agent calls you forward, and as you are about to hand them your ticket, they ask if you a power of attorney before coming through the line! Clearly this would not happen, but I want to stress the importance of having updated powers of attorney before you take your summer vacations. Remember when you are thinking about vacations this year; plan, pack, and power of attorney. Have a safe and happy vacation season!

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