For many people, estate planning is motivated by a desire to take care of dependents, such as a spouse or children, in the case of an untimely death. For this reason, young, single people may not think of estate planning as a priority. However, there are many reasons people in this category could benefit from a will. Here are some of the reasons why single, young people in Massachusetts should still put estate planning on their “to do” list.
- Making plans for important or valuable property: This is especially important for single homeowners. Simply put, someone will ultimately receive owned property after a person dies. Estate planning helps ensure that the owner has a say in who that will be.
- Protecting digital assets: Often, privately held information is needed to access digital assets, like passcodes and digital locations. Without recording this information in a safe place, the value of digital assets could be lost forever. Similarly, there is a risk that loved ones will not be clear on what to do with digital property like social media accounts, email addresses or files, so leaving instructions is a good idea.
- Planning for care in case of incapacity: Estate planning is not only helpful for making plans in advance of death, it is also an important tool to prepare for the potentiality of being unable to take care of oneself. It is a good idea to have a power of attorney, giving someone legal authorization to take care of financial matters, as well as a health care proxy, authorizing someone to make decisions related to health care.
The specific issues that should be addressed in a will can vary from person to person, as those who have minor children, pets or substantial assets may have more to consider than those just beginning their careers and families. Nevertheless, estate planning has benefits for many people, even those who do not have a spouse to consider in the process at this stage in their lives. Individuals who are interested in starting the estate planning process would be wise to first reach out to an experienced Massachusetts attorney.