When you hear estate planning, what do you think of? For many, it’s family—a strategic way to ensure the future well–being of their spouse and children. In reality, it’s more than that, estate planning is a means of protecting yourself should youbecome incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. It is your chance to decide in advance who will provide for your care, ensure the safety of your assets, and make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. These priorities aren’t unique to being married with kids.
Like anyone, single people who neglect the implications of going through life unprotected risk playing with fire.
Consider this: without having a financial power of attorney or an advance directive for health care, your wishes become irrelevant. A Court determines who will speak for you—someone who may ultimately fail to share or understand your beliefs. Do you want that person to be in charge of life and death decisions for you?
Without a valid Will, you also leave the fate of your assets up to state law. This means your assets will go to your closest living relatives, including your parents, any siblings, nieces and nephews you may have, or even distant relations. Having an attorney draft your Will empowers you to identify beneficiaries on your own—be they family, friends, or charities.
Even better is a revocable living trust. If properly funded, it canavoid the probate process altogether, prevent the contents of your Will from becoming public record, and bypass the requirement that your heirs be notified when you pass, decreasing the likelihood that anyone contests your instruction. Imagine relatives you haven’t seen for decades battling in Court to invalidate your Will and get their hands on your estate! Even if no one contests your Will, locating and notifying heirs can delay the distribution of property after you pass.
At the end of the day, being single is all the more reason to take a proactive stance against undue forces. Be your own champion and start an estate plan today. Schedule an appointment today by calling 770-817-4999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.