Sometimes it seems estate planning focuses on married couples to the exclusion of singles. But unmarried people have just as much to gain from estate planning as a couple. In fact, spouses and singles may come to estate planning with some of the same things to accomplish.
Typical Estate Planning Goals
Estate plans serve as guidance at difficult times in people’s lives. That may be why people – whether single or not – come to the table with similar estate planning goals. For example, you may want to:
- Arrange for your assets to be distributed after your death,
- Select an agent to hand financial affairs if you become incapacitated,
- Select an agent to make medical decisions to your medical providers if you are unable to communicate.
Remember that whether you have an estate plan or not,
- someone will have to handle your financial matters if you cannot;
- someone will make medical decisions for you if necessary; and
- your property will be distributed after you die.
Things are more likely to move smoothly with an estate plan than without one.
Estate Planning Documents for Single People
Generally, single people need the same basic estate planning documents as a married couple. For example, a Last Will and Testament is common and necessary, even if you also form a revocable living trust.
But estate planning is not just about death and executing your Will. People typically include the following documents in their estate plans:
- Durable Power of Attorney. In your durable power of attorney, you authorize an agent to make financial decisions for you. Powers granted under a durable power of attorney continue even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
- Health Care Directive. With this document, you – as principal – till name an agent to make medical decisions for you if necessary. planning for a possible incapacity is better than trying to deal with incapacity as it happens.
- Living Will. This document may be considered optional, but still important. By signing it, Esther can tell the world what type of end-of-life treatments she wants and does not want. Having this document in place could spare her friends and family the turmoil of trying to decide what’s best for her.
Whether you are married, single, divorce, or separated, you may become disabled or incapacitated at some point. You will need someone to take care of your finances and communicate with your medical providers. Estate planning gives you the power to do that.
Learn More About Estate Plans for Single People
There are certain estate planning tools specifically designed for married couples: However, your estate planning attorney can advise on the strategies that best suit your circumstances.
The experienced estate planning attorneys at Virtus Law have what it takes to assist with your legal concerns. Please contact us by calling 612.888.1000 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our main office is in Minneapolis, with other offices located in Maplewood, Cambridge, Edina, Mendota Heights, and Red Wing.