Should I Make a Will Before I Go Travelling?
29 March 2019
Holidays and long trips do inevitably come with a certain level of risk, which is why it's a good idea to make a Will or update your existing Will before you go.
If you're planning a long trip away from home, then you may have found your mind wondering onto 'what if's and wanting to make sure that you've got everything in place just in case. To some it may seem a little morbid to be planning for the worst while preparing for a holiday, but there are a number of good reasons to make sure you're prepared for every eventuality.
Holidays and long trips do inevitably come with a certain level of risk. This is very well understood and is recognised by most holidaymakers, with over half taking out travel insurance to cover them in the event of an accident or illness, with most policies including repatriation in the event of death. If these preparations are being carried out then there's no reason not to also put a Will in place, so that you know you're completely covered if the worst was to happen.
Many holidaymakers or travellers may be more likely to partake in higher risk activities than they would in their usual day-to-day lives back at home. For example, holidaymakers might take part in activities such as scuba diving, water sports or snow sports while away. These activities all come with a level of risk attached and while these risks can be effectively managed, they can never be eliminated altogether.
Depending on where you are travelling to, there could also be the increased risk of contracting an illness, or there may be a heightened risk of being caught up in a natural disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami. In addition, there's also the risk that you could be involved in an accident while travelling either on the roads, in the air or on the sea.
While our intention is not to strike fear into the hearts of holidaymakers, it's important to acknowledge the risks and make sure that you're completely prepared for all eventualities. If you've taken out insurance because you've acknowledged there's a risk that you could be involved in an accident, for example, then why not also make sure that your Will is up to date?
By making a Will you can ensure that everything is in place if it's needed. You can set out what should happen to your body if you die abroad, what you would like for your funeral, what should happen to your Estate and who should look after your children, if you have any.
If you die unexpectedly while you're away and you don't have a Will in place, then everything you own will be distributed in line with inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy, instead of in line with your wishes. Your loved ones will have no say over this, even if they know that your Estate isn't being distributed in the way that you would have wanted.
If you have children, then it's really important to ensure that you have arrangements in place for them too, by including details in your Will of who should become their legal guardian in the event of your (and their other parent's) death. Regardless of whether you are travelling with or without your children, it's important for you to put these measures in place before you go.