Wealthy individuals with large families may find it necessary to draw up detailed estate plans. Single people, both young and old, might not think they need a will or other estate planning documents. However, a single person and their family members might all benefit from an estate plan. Not everyone realizes the complete scope of estate planning and what it offers.
An estate plan for the single person
When someone dies without a will, intestate laws determine who receives the decedent’s assets. Writing a will allows someone to make sure assets go to intended recipients. Estate planning allows a single person to craft a will and take steps to ensure that the contract follows state law. A will has specific requirements under the law and needs to be drafted properly because an invalid will won’t prove acceptable during probate, leaving the court to follow intestate law.
A single person may have relatives or friends to whom they would like to give their belongings. Some assets could transfer on death, such as bank accounts, provided the account has a named beneficiary. In addition, writing a will allows the testator to choose an executor. The executor could handle the deceased person’s estate in a manner that does not burden other relatives, such as elderly parents.
Other documents and responsibilities
Comprehensive estate planning could involve other documents besides a last will and testament. A single person may need assistance from another relative to deal with financial or health care matters. A financial power of attorney document would allow a designated agent to handle bank matters, tax filings, bill payments, and personal representation in other areas.
Medical issues may become a concern. A healthy care proxy or a living will, might prove indispensable when someone becomes incapacitated. A single person might need to think about such a situation and then plan for it.
Estate planning involves a variety of issues, not just writing a will. Single people as well as their family members can benefit from creating an estate plan and keeping it updated.