Travelling with a Will: Your crucial travel companion

The world has opened back up, and this means we are all booking those flights to that
tropical island somewhere, or that special destination on our bucket lists. But have you
forgotten something? Have you considered doing your Will prior to travelling?

Travelling can be an exhilarating experience which broadens your horizons and is a time
spent creating new memories. Amidst the excitement of exploring somewhere new or an
already well known and loved destination again, we tend to overlook a crucial aspect of
responsible planning: doing a Will.

Whilst no one likes to think about accidents or unexpected events whilst on a holiday,
having a Will drafted ensures your wishes are documented if the unexpected were to
occur, and provides you and your family with peace of mind.

When should you consider drafting a Will?
Age and illness tend to prompt most people to consider doing a Will, however, going on
a holiday should also lead you to contemplate drafting a Will; particularly where it may
be in you and your family’s best interests.

“Why?” you might ask.

If you do not have a carefully considered, well drafted, and properly signed Will in place
you may be exposing yourself and your loved ones to potential risks and unnecessary
stress if the worst were to occur, including but not limited to:

  • Complications and disputes over your estate (the things that are owned and owed
    in your name at the time of your death), resulting in lengthy and expensive
  • Placing undue financial burden on your estate, family, and/or beneficiaries
    (people whom you want to receive things from your estate);
  • Forcing those you love to work out what to do if you die without a proper will; and
  • Having your assets distributed in a way which is contrary to your wishes, and
    which may exclude those you would otherwise wish to receive something from
    your estate were the worst to happen.

Advantages of drafting a Will before your trip

The primary purpose of a Will is to choose how your assets and possessions should be
divided. When you travel, there is always going to be an element of risk associated.

Accordingly, drafting your Will with a legal practitioner has many benefits including:

1. Ensuring your loved ones are taken care of both financially and emotionally;
2. Obtaining tailored legal advice on your circumstances and your wishes; and
3. Providing peace of mind.

Do I only need to draft a Will before travelling?

Preparing for the worst not only includes planning a Will, but also a Power of Attorney. A
Power of Attorney is a legal document which can grant a trusted person certain powers
that normally only you would be able to do personally, when certain events arise.
While a Will takes care of your loved ones when you pass, a Power of Attorney can be
written so that if something happens to you (serious illness of injury) and you become
unable to make your own decisions, you have someone trusted to make personal and
financial decisions on your behalf.

In some ways this is more important than a Will as this is planning for someone trusted
to take care of you when you are at your most vulnerable.

What happens if I do not have a Will?

Fear not! If you die without a Will your family will most likely be the one receiving your
Estate, however this may not be in the way that you would ultimately want it to be. As
above the best way to record your wishes is through a Will.

If you die without a Will, then your estate will be given to what the law would say is your
closest relative at the time of your death. This would normally be your spouse or partner;
or divided between your children; or your parents; or your siblings depending on your
circumstances at the time of your death.

This system may not actually reflect what you want when you pass away. Your estate
may also be more open to dispute should your circumstances not be clear at the time of
your death.

Our estate lawyers, headed by Grezah Padro who has completed a Master of Laws
(Applied Law) majoring in Wills and Estates, are able to provide you with a stress-free
process and ensure your wishes are clear. They can also help you navigate options
which best suit your circumstances. This will be your best and most crucial travel
companion affording you comfort and peace of mind.

To provide you with additional peace of mind, we also offer complimentary secure
storage of your original documents once executed.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice with estate
planning, please contact our Intake team on (03) 8415 5600 or email us at

This article is intended to provide general information only and is limited to the Victorian
jurisdiction only. You should obtain professional advice before you undertake any
course of action.

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