Estate Planning for Single People
For a single person, estate planning may be the last thing on their mind. For that reason, estate planning for a single person can sometimes be challenging. There are many decisions that need to be made, and it is often easier not to think about it, especially if you are single. However, having an estate plan in place can reduce stress for survivors of the single person, and give the single person peace of mind, knowing that things will be taken care of.
Establishing an Estate Plan
It is important for a single person to find someone they trust to look after their estate, and make sure their wishes are followed through. It is also important to think about who you want your assets left to. Without an estate plan in place, your estate will go through the probate process, and be divided by the court. That means that your assets may go to people you did not want them to.
An estate plan will allow you to choose whom you want to distribute your assets to. Additionally, if you have minor children, it will allow you to designate a guardian. Obviously, these are tough, serious decisions to make, and a lot of thought should go into your decisions. You may have a house, or sentimental items, that you would like to see go to a specific person. That should all be figured out as part of the planning process.
For things such as life insurance and retirement benefits, it may be worth checking on the beneficiary designations, as they may have changed over the years. Again, make sure your assets are going to the right people.
Selecting a Power of Attorney
Selecting whom you want to be your power of attorney for both financial and medical decisions is an important step of estate planning for single people as well. A power of attorney makes decisions for you, should become incapacitated. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose someone you believe will carry out your wishes, both medically and financially. It is important to choose someone who understands your wishes, and respects the importance of carrying them out.
Consider Establishing a Trust
It may also be worth thinking about taxes, and how your estate may be impacted by estate taxes. If this is a concern, you may want to consider a trust for your assets, or even charitable giving. A trust will give you the ability to be very specific about how your assets are divided. They are private, and do not go through the probate process upon your death. Trusts also allow you to tailor how you want your assets divided down to who gets what, and when.
If, while thinking about estate planning, you decide that you do not have any friends or family members to leave your assets to, there are other options. You may decide to leave your estate to a charitable organization, or a school. This usually applies to people who are involved in an organization, or a charity they feel strongly about.
Contact The Mattar Firm
As you can see, estate planning is important for single people, as there is always someone or something that can benefit from your assets upon your death. Without a plan in place, you have no control in regards to your assets and where they go. If you have decided that estate planning is important for you, despite being single, it may be worth speaking with our experienced estate planning attorneys at The Mattar Firm. Our attorneys will be able to give you solid advice on your options, and help you move through the process in order to make the decisions that are best for you. . Contact us today at 239-222-2222.