A Guide to Estate Planning for Singles Versus Married Couples

Many people believe that estate planning is only for people who are married or have children. However, that is a harmful myth. Whether you have never been married, are divorced, or are currently married, planning is vitally important to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

If you’re single and pass away without determining your heirs, the court will inevitably make that decision. That’s why it’s imperative for single people to make a will or living trust that states who should receive their assets. According to an estate planning survey, approximately 26.7% of singles (who’ve never married) had a will in 2020.

Although estate planning for a single person can be a bit challenging, having a sound plan in place reduces stress and anxiety. In hopes to eliminate the tension that surrounds estate planning, here are three helpful guidelines on how to draw up an estate plan if you are single:

Choose Beneficiaries

A beneficiary is a person or organization that you name in a life insurance policy to receive your death benefits. Single people may find it difficult to choose beneficiaries compared to their married couples or even single parents who decide to give their assets to spouses or children.

If a married person dies without a will, their assets are generally held jointly so the estate passes directly to the surviving spouse. However, if a single person dies without a will, their assets pass under the Rules of Intestacy. This means the state will decide who inherits the assets, as stated previously.

While choosing beneficiaries can be a hard choice, it is crucial. If you are single, you need to choose someone to inherit your assets. You can give your assets to family members, close friends, or even a charity that you’d like to support.

Medical Power of Attorney (Advance Healthcare Directive)

Does a single person need a medical power of attorney know as an Advance Healthcare Directive? The answer is yes.

If you are too ill to make decisions about your medical care, you will need someone you trust to do it for you. A married person will commonly appoint their spouse to make these decisions. However, a single person should appoint a close friend or family member.

By placing a person of your choosing in these important roles, you can ensure that he or she will make medical decisions that will benefit you and your estate.

Hire A Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney

Even if you are single, it is essential to have a knowledgeable estate planning attorney that will carry out your wishes if something occurs to you. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. have over 90 combined years of experience helping individuals and families establish customized estate plans.

Founder attorney, Christopher E. Botti, is also a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law.

Don’t wait another moment to prepare for your future. To discuss your legal concerns with Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd., call (877) 585-1885 today. Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. accepts clients in Ventura, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, Valencia, Bakersfield, and San Luis Obispo, California.