Death on Holiday: 5 Tips to Make Sure You Are Prepared for the Worst

Posted on: 23 June 2015

In an average year, over 1,200 Australians pack their bags for holidays and never return home. Tragically, these holiday makers die from causes ranging from food poisoning to surfing accidents, to murder, and in addition to having to sort through their grief, the relatives of these travellers have to reach into their pockets for a great deal of cash. Sadly, dying overseas can be expensive.

If you want to ensure your family is never in the position of digging through couch cushions looking for extra cash after your tragic death, you should check out these tips:

1. Do not travel into conflict

Before buying your ticket to any overseas destination, check with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. That department can advise you on the specific dangers of various countries. If you have to travel somewhere politically dangerous, stay away from protests and demonstrations.

2. Set up a general power of attorney

Contact your solicitor and have him or her help you set up a general power of attorney before you leave the country. There are a few different types of power of attorney, and a general one covers you while you are abroad.

During that time, the person you appoint as your power of attorney (typically a trusted friend or relative) can make financial and business decisions for you, and if you die, they can legally sort out issues related to your body and how it is dealt with.

3. Book traveller's insurance

However, even with a power of attorney in place, your loved ones may not have the financial ability to ship your body home after an accident. To ensure that is possible, book travel insurance before going overseas.

You can purchase a range of policies, but to prepare for death in particular, make sure your policy promises to repatriate your body in the event of your death.

4. Update your life insurance policy

If you have kids or other people for whom you are financially responsible, you should have a life insurance policy. If you don't already have a policy, use your holiday preparations as the inspiration to book a policy.

With most policies, you name the benefactor of the policy, but you should still have a will to deal with other assets.

5. Check on your will

Before travelling abroad or doing anything else that is potentially risky, you should make sure your will is in order. If you have a lot of assets or if you have a unique family structure with step kids or domestic partners who may not automatically be recognised as your next of kin, you especially need to make sure your will is in order.

This may be a grim way to plan your next vacation, but it's preparation that could save you and your family a lot of money if something were to go horribly wrong. Contact solicitors such as Linda Emery & Associates Pty Ltd to help you.