It’s a common misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy or for married couples. In reality, everyone should have some sort of estate plan. This is even more true if you are single because you don’t have an obvious person to handle your affairs should something happen to you. So if you’re single and thriving, here’s why you need an estate plan.
Whether we are partnered up or not, there’s no denying that all of us will reach the end of our lives or are at risk for an emergency. Since we have no way of knowing when or how this will happen, having a plan for yourself is key to protecting your health and the life that you’ve built. If you aren’t married or in a long term relationship, it may not be easy for your loved ones to know who to turn to or what you would want them to do in case an emergency happens or if they need to handle your affairs in the event of your death.
Why Naming a Power of Attorney is Important if You’re Single
Having an estate plan puts you in charge of your medical and financial decisions if you aren’t able to advocate for yourself. Without an obvious person to advocate for you, having an estate plan will protect your wishes. Naming a power of attorney for your medical and financial decisions is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. This will name a person of your choosing who can speak to and make medical decisions for you. Either the same person or someone different should also be named to be in charge of your financial affairs. Also consider creating a living will so this person knows your wishes for your medical care.
Don’t Let Your Assets End Up In The Wrong Hands
Aside from medical decisions, you don’t want everything you’ve worked so hard for to end up in the wrong hands. If you’re single and without an estate plan, your assets would go through the probate process meaning your state (and total strangers) would be deciding where your assets would be going. So if you know where you want your assets to go, having a will or a trust is the best way to make sure your wishes are followed. Without one of these, there’s no legal way for your loved ones to claim your assets.
Estate Plans Aren’t Permanent
Does the thought of making these decisions intimidate you? You’re not alone. It can be overwhelming to think about these things. But the best part of estate planning, aside from ensuring you are protected, is that estate plans are not permanent. So if your circumstances change, say you want to change who you’re leaving something to, or you’ve changed your mind about certain medical decisions, you can always update your estate plan to reflect what you want. With the right estate planning professional on your side, you can update your plan when you need to and with peace of mind that the life you’ve built is protected.
Your estate plan should be tailored to your life. With so much to think about and plan for, make sure you are consulting with the right estate planning professionals. We can help you start a new estate plan or update an existing one. You can contact us for your free initial consultation and see if we are the right fit for your estate planning goals. Whether you need a new estate plan or you’re updating an existing one, see if we are the right fit to help.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.