When it comes to estate planning for single people, there’s one very important thing you should know: it’s essential for you. Whether you’ve never been married, you’re divorced, or you’re widowed, being single doesn’t mean that you don’t need to plan for the future! As a single person, you have unique needs regarding your estate, and you’re going to need an experienced professional to help you through the process.
Let’s discuss two of the most complicated estate planning issues for single people.
At any moment, a health crisis could strike. What if you are involved in an accident, become incapacitated, and cannot communicate with anyone at the hospital? Just like married people, you need to designate someone to act on your behalf if you cannot manage your own assets or make your own healthcare decisions. If you haven’t appointed anyone to this position, then it may end up falling to a distant relative, or — even worse — a stranger appointed by the state.
Do you really want your health care decisions to be made by someone you didn’t choose or by someone who doesn’t know you and has no reason to care about you or your estate? Definitely not! That’s why it’s important that you sign a general power of attorney, an advance health care directive, and a HIPAA authorization that permits a friend or loved one to act as your agent regarding your assets and health care decisions in the event that you are incapacitated.
There are some types of accounts, like retirement accounts, that require the account holder to name a beneficiary upon enrollment. When the account holder dies, that beneficiary typically still gets the account even if it was given to someone else in a will.
This is especially important if you were previously married. You’ll need to reevaluate your beneficiary designations on all your accounts so that your assets will not pass to a former spouse after you die (if that’s not something you want to happen).
Bradford & Holliman Is Your Estate Planning Expert!
These are just a few of the considerations single people must make regarding their estate. In order to make sure all your bases are covered and your assets will go to the proper places after your death, it’s best to consult with an estate planning professional. We are here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today!