Many adults may find themselves single at some stage in life, either because of divorce, death of a spouse or simply due to their own choice. For many singles, estate planning may seem like a low priority, especially if they don’t have any dependents. But there are some very good reasons for single adults to make an estate plan, with just a few simple documents.
Avoid Intestate Laws
The first thing to understand, is that if you die without an estate plan, state statutes will control how your assets are distributed. What this means is that your hard-earned money and property could go to an uncle or cousin you have not seen in years, while others that you are close to you in your life will receive nothing. At worst, all of your estate assets could go to the state of California if you have no living relatives.
By making a simple will you can control exactly who will be able to inherit your assets, regardless of the amount or type. You can name friends, workmates, romantic partners and even your pet.
Advance Health Care Directive
One of the downsides of being single is if you become ill or injured and are unable to make health care decisions for yourself. Without an advance health care directive and power of attorney, medical professionals cannot make certain critical choices. If you don’t have any close family members, you can still name a trusted friend or colleague to fill this important role.
A challenge of being a single adult may be deciding who will receive your assets after your passing. This is where estate planning can help, by offering you the chance to support your favorite charitable causes by naming them in your will or trust or setting up a special trust for the charity.
There are many different ways to contribute, and by becoming a donor this may connect you to the charity more closely and open up volunteer and social opportunities.
Your Estate Planning Attorney as Ally
One of the overlooked benefits of estate planning is that your attorney can act as your ally and may be the one person that knows about your estate plan and wishes. They will have a listing of your accounts and assets and will make sure that you understand exactly how your plan will work.
If you are a single adult and wondering how to handle your estate, please contact the attorneys at Shoup Legal, www.ShoupLegal.com, or 951-445-4114, to discuss your questions.