It seems as if all your friends and family have gotten married or started a family. You, on the other hand, have no plans to wed or have children, a fact that may shock those closest to you. No matter your reasons for deciding to remain single, you may need to pair with a legal advocate to make the most of estate planning.
Forbes offers several considerations to help you develop an effective plan. While you may not have children or a spouse to act as your beneficiaries, there are still people who may benefit from your estate.
One of the first things to decide is who acts as your estate executor after you pass. This person takes care of all estate and income taxes, carries out your estate wishes and handles the probate process.
Health care proxy and power of attorney
Do you know who could make financial and medical decisions in your stead should you become incapacitated? An accident, illness or old age could leave you physically or mentally unable to handle your finances or make choices regarding your healthcare. The power of attorney and health care proxy portion of your estate plan handles such situations.
You likely do not like the idea of the state deciding who gets your assets after your death. That is why you should designate beneficiaries and set up a revocable trust. You may want to pass your assets on to nieces and nephews or a close friend. Also, decide on someone to act as your successor trustee to manage your assets should you find yourself unable to do so for whatever reason.
While you may reconsider and marry or have kids later on, you can start planning your estate now. Talk to a legal advocate experienced with helping single clients with their unique estate planning needs.