If you are single and not financially responsible for anyone else, having an estate plan might not seem that important. However, estate planning can ensure that your wishes are followed both before and after your death. One element of an estate plan is a will or trust, which specifies who inherits your assets. Far more important for many single people are financial and health care powers of attorney, which allow you to appoint someone to help handle your finances and manage your medical care should you become unable to do so. Having an estate plan in place can ensure that your wishes are honored when you are no longer able to voice those wishes yourself.
If you fail to leave proper documents that specify what to do with your assets at your death, this will be determined by state law. Most states would apportion the assets first to the decedent’s spouse, then to any children, and finally to the closest blood relatives. But you might have friends that you consider family. You might consider a sibling’s children like your own and want them to inherit your assets or you might want your assets to go to a charity.
Should you become incapacitated and do not have financial or health care power of attorney, the state would again make key decisions on your behalf. A court could appoint a distant relative or stranger to act as your agent, but you may have a partner, family member, or friend whom you would trust to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf. A financial power of attorney names the person who shall be given legal authority to conduct your financial affairs, and a health care power of attorney does likewise for medical matters.
Though estate planning is often associated with traditional families, single people also need a will or trust. Some easy planning can ensure that your assets end up in the right hands and that decisions about your assets and health are made by the people you trust the most.
If you would like to know more about how estate planning can benefit you, call Keith & Associates Legal, PLLC today at 918-574-8500. One of experienced attorneys is ready to speak to you.