When you travel abroad (for Spring Break or any kind of travel), you probably remember your passport, visas and vaccinations.
But you probably don't think much about emergencies that may arise when gone. But what are you supposed to do when paperwork needs to be signed? Or you need to appear in court?
These things are difficult to do while on holiday abroad, which is why you may want to consider setting up a power of attorney. You can give a trusted friend or family member the ability to take action while you're in a foreign land.
Many people mistakenly believe that a power of attorney is limited to situations in which a person becomes incapacitated. In actuality, the document becomes effective only when it specifically states. You can limit its application to times when you are out of the country.
And of course, you can also limit its use to specific situations. A power of attorney can designate the ability to handle real estate decisions, financial issues, insurance, business operations and even legal problems. You can give as little or as much power as you want.
Having such a document can be particularly useful if you experience issues with your credit and banking cards while abroad. It also comes in handy when there are medical issues and you need access to your records or insurance company.
Ultimately, a power of attorney makes emergencies easier and may prevent an early trip home. Consider drawing one up, or having one drawn up for you. Your vacation will be a little bit more enjoyable if you do.
- Help a Loved One Make a Power of Attorney (FindLaw)
- Travel Insurance Benefits: A Quick Overview (FindLaw)
- What to Do If You're Arrested in a Foreign Country (FindLaw Blotter)