Many single people believe estate planning is only for those with spouses, children, or other financial obligations. However, these legal documents apply to people of all marital statuses, answering questions such as who will take control of your assets when you pass away, or who will make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Here are a few tips for single adults embarking on estate planning.
Estate Planning for Singles
Write a Will
If you die without preparing a living will, the state will distribute your assets to your closest family members without considering verbal statements you may have made or the quality of those relationships. The only way to guarantee your wishes are respected is to write a will or establish a living trust. Even if you only have items of sentimental value, estate planning will help avoid conflict and guarantee those belongings end up with the people you would want to have them.
Solidify a Medical Directive
Every estate plan should also include documentation regarding your medical treatment should you become unable to advocate on your behalf. Instructions in this medical directive should designate a proxy who will make decisions about your care. You can also provide instructions regarding end-of-life care, approve or deny certain life-sustaining procedures, and specifying the healthcare outcomes you deem acceptable.
Designate Power of Attorney
Without a spouse holding automatic legal authority to act on their behalf, unmarried people need durable powers of attorney more than most. If you’re physically or mentally incapacitated, a durable power of attorney empowers those you trust to manage your financial and medical affairs. Without power of attorney, the court will likely appoint your next of kin to perform this role.
Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming project, which is why clients throughout Rochester, NY, turn to Steve Butcher Sr., Esq. An accomplished lawyer with over 25 years of experience, he knows how important these matters are and always provides clients the dedicated attention they deserve. To start your estate plan today, visit his website now or call (585) 263-2444.