Estate Planning 101 for Singles
Most of the time when people think about estate planning, they think about the exceptionally wealthy, or about married couples or those with defined heirs like children. However, estate planning can be very important to single people as well, and the approach singles take to end-of-life planning have to be a bit different than the steps taken by couples.
Even if you don’t have a spouse or kids, you have assets that will need to be protected, and the taxes on your estate will generally fall on someone’s shoulders. In addition, there are important decisions to be made about medical needs and burial plans. While complex, it’s also vitally important. Let’s take a look at the basics of estate planning for singles, what you need to consider, and how an estate planning attorney can help you make the right choices.
Estate Planning for Singles
Singles have a lot of choices to make and a lot of things to consider when it comes to making the right decisions. Estate planning for singles is in many ways more complex than for couples. You’ll need to designate beneficiaries, deal with control of your assets, handle burial planning, powers of attorney, living wills and more.
The will is the core of your estate plan. It allows you to maintain control over how your assets are distributed. If you’re recently single and you have children, you can name guardians for them and set up trusts to ensure they’re taken care of. Without a will, the courts will determine how everything is distributed, which may not be in the best interests of those left behind.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is essential to your late-life planning. You’ll need someone who is able to make financial decisions for you if you become unable to do so, like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or physical malady that renders you incapacitated. For a married person, the spouse often takes this on. For singles, you’ll need to find someone you can trust with your financial well-being.
Life insurance and retirement assets can be essential to handling your final concerns like funeral and burial costs. However, someone has to serve as a beneficiary for these things. You’ll need to choose who gets them and ensure that it’s someone deserving who will get the best use out of them.
What happens if you become incapacitated and unable to make important medical decisions? A living will can cover some aspects of this, but things always come up that you didn’t consider. Think about a medical power of attorney, someone you trust with your life to make those decisions.
Most people don’t have to worry about estate taxes — they only apply if your estate hits a certain level of value, which is in the millions. There are a lot of factors that go into tax exclusions for estates, and you’ll need solid legal help to make sure these issues are covered, if any.
Hire an Estate Planning Attorney
Your best bet to ensure your estate planning is covered is to work with a qualified estate planning attorney. Call Tanko Law for help and advice today!