The sun is shining and the weather is warm, and people are inspired to hit the road and explore our world. Summer is the traditional time to go on vacation, and before leaving, many people create lists or plan out their trip to ensure they get to have all the fun they can pack into one trip. Far from their minds is the potential legal issues that may arise from their trip.
Below you will find some questions to ask yourself prior to leaving that will open the door to some potential legal needs you will need before departing. (Any questions, concerns, or advice will need to come from a practicing attorney. If you are a Legal Resources Member, contact your plan firm for advice and consultation well before you plan to leave.)
- Where? This may seem obvious, but where are you traveling? If you are going out of country, you need to review the rules governing the area. Their laws are likely different from those in America, and you will be held accountable for violating them, even if you didn’t realize they were a law.
Even traveling inside the United States will lead to laws that vary from state to state. Do some research on the area you are traveling, especially if you have specific plans.
- What? What are you bringing with you? Customs regulations can vary, so you will want to know in advance of arriving at another nation just what they will allow you to bring in. That includes items you intend to bring back into America.
Similar regulations exist between states, so something that may be perfectly legal in your home state may be highly regulated in another. Keep that in mind while you pack your bags.
- Who? Are you traveling by yourself, with friends, or bringing your family along? If you are leaving small children with family or friends, you will want to look into options ensuring the guardians have legal authority in the case of an emergency. Your attorney can go over the options available in your state, and which will best meet your needs when leaving your children with someone else.
- When? When was the last time you updated your will? Your will is probably not the thing you want to think about before you leave for a trip, but it is important as a worst-case-scenario preparation step. You just want your attorney to review it to ensure everything is legal and up to date with your current life.
Ultimately, the best answers to these questions can be found by doing your research. Look at local news, check social media feeds and yelp reviews to get a feel for what your destination will be like. When in doubt, or if you just aren’t sure if you have prepared for your journey, you can always consult your attorney to review any legal matters.
An attorney’s advice is a valuable tool to have at your side in many matters both in and out of the courtroom. If you are a Legal Resources member, contact your plan attorney directly when you have questions about a legal matter. If you’d like more details on ways attorneys can help in everyday life, contact the certified paralegals on our Member Services Team at 800-728-5768.