If you haven’t married, or you are divorced and widowed then you might think that estate planning isn’t your cup of tea but it is. Yes! Estate Planning is important for everyone, especially for a single person. Do you want to leave your whole life’s earnings/assets/property open for the court to decide where it goes? We don’t so! You have worked long and hard for what you have and now you should have a say in who gets to inherit it. With that being said it is vital for you to have a good estate plan which includes a Will or Trust or both.
First of all, estate planning comes with its own benefits. Through a properly drafted estate plan you can plan for marriage, retirement, healthcare and death. You should always be prepared even for the worst of situations and estate planning is a great place to start. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, widowed or divorced, we all have a person, relatives, siblings or friends who we love and care for. So, for the benefits of our loved ones and to insure that we have a say we should do estate planning.
Estate Planning for Singles
Estate planning for the singles is very important because we all need to find someone who is going to get all or part of our estate and who will carry forward with it. As a single person, if you have never been married and have no kids it can be difficult to decide on whom to leave your estate to. As a divorced or widowed individual without kids, it too can be difficult to choose a beneficiary. A beneficiary can and should be your children, close family member or a good friend. However, a single person can also choose to leave everything or a part of their estate to charity or other non-profit organization if they wish too.
You must know that if you die without an estate plan and you were single then the court will find the closest relative and make him/her the beneficiary. This might work for you and already be aligned with your current wishes but for most having control and a say means a lot. We always like to say it is nice to be able to control a piece of the future today and estate planning is just that.
Estate Planning benefits for Singles
Estate planning comes with lots of benefits especially if you are single. If you are young and single and looking to get married one day estate planning can help protect your assets from being part of marital property. Why is this important? Well no one wishes to speak about divorce before getting married yet divorce has become a more frequent topic of conversation. Estate planning can help the uncomfortable conversation of discussing a prenuptial agreement. This is also an important consideration for those that are divorced or widowed yet back to dating. You never know when you met the one why not have your assets tucked away and well protected.
For singles Estate planning is not just about asset protection or pass-through of assets to the person of ones choosing. It is also important to think about who will take care of you in the event that you are sick, start suffering from dementia or god forbid end up in a car accident and unable to take care of yourself. Who will be responsible or better yet able to make medical decisions on your behalf? Who will be able to make financial decisions or access your finances to better take care of you once you’re unable to do it for yourself? Through proper planning and with the help of a good estate planning lawyer these issues can be addressed.
What if you don’t have anyone to make a beneficiary?
In some cases, you may have no one around that you trust, love or would like to leave your assets to. You may not have someone to act as your healthcare proxy or power of attorney or even take care of your burial arrangements. In these rare but not uncommon cases we suggest turning to a professional such as your attorney, accountant or doctor to play this role in your life for a fee. It is always best to plan ahead and know when the time comes even if it is at a cost there is someone to look after you and your affairs.
In the end, being single isn’t easy and planning when you are single can prove to be tricky. Seeking proper guidance from an experienced attorney is always advised.