If you are like many Massachusetts residents, you may think that estate planning is only important for parents or elderly people ready to retire. However, creating a will is vital, even if you are a young person without a spouse, children or significant financial assets.

Forbes points out that estate planning is just as important if you are a single person as it is for married couples and people with children. In some respects, it may be even more important to have a will if you are single; because your assets are likely in only your name, it may be difficult to distribute them properly if you pass away without a will. Massachusetts law may automatically distribute your assets to your closest relatives if you do not leave a will, but your assets could also end up going to the state itself.

You may ensure your assets go to your intended beneficiaries by creating a will. Part of making a will is naming an executor. You may name a close friend or family member, or you may choose to have a third-party agent. If you have pets, you may provide for them in your will. You may do this by naming a guardian for your pets and creating a pet trust. A trust allows you to set aside money for your pet’s care and name a trustee who will ensure your pet’s guardian uses the funds properly.

Another essential aspect of estate planning is making medical decisions. You may create a health care advance directive that states your wishes for medical treatment if an illness or injury prevents you from communicating your decisions to your doctor.

This information on estate planning is intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.