You likely watched the news or saw updates about the recent devastating wildfires in other parts of the country, leading to the complete devastation and ruin of entire communities. Many people in the path of these fires lost everything in their homes in a matter of a few hours, some with little advanced warning. These fires are an excellent example of how unpredictable natural events can be.
Florida readers know what this is like, living in a state that faces the threat of serious storms every hurricane season. You may know a hurricane is coming, but there are limits to what you can do to protect your home. Like the fire victims, you could lose everything in the blink of an eye. It is important to prepare your estate plan for such an event.
What can you do to be prepared?
You may think that these tragic, naturally occurring events could never affect you, but the future is unpredictable. It is always worthwhile to be prepared in case you lose your home, cannot find important paperwork and experience other challenges. Some of the things you can do to prepare your estate plan, finances and more for a doomsday scenario include:
- Make copies of your documents – It can be in your interests to make copies of important things you may need in an emergency. This includes copies of estate planning documents like wills, powers of attorney, advance medical directives and more. Take these copies with you in case you have to evacuate.
- Know your information – In case you cannot get home, you may need to know passwords to certain accounts, including your checking and savings accounts. You also should know how to access your insurance information.
- Have the right numbers – Before an emergency strikes, you would be wise to have certain numbers stored where you can access them. This includes your accountant, money manager, lawyer, insurance agent and others who may be important.
Hopefully, you will never face a situation that requires you to leave your home or refer to certain estate planning documents, but it is always prudent to be prepared. Taking these simple steps can help you or your loved ones avoid complications and additional stress.
If you have not updated your estate plan recently or you need to know if you have the protections in place in case of an extreme emergency, it may be beneficial to discuss these concerns with a Florida estate planning attorney.