When you are single with no kids, the thought of estate planning may not have even crossed your mind. When you do not have any dependents, you would think to settle your estate after your death would be relatively easy. While the process will be more simplified since you do not have to deal with beneficiaries, you should not avoid estate planning altogether. You should definitely plan your estate to ensure your assets are handled according to your wishes once you pass away. Here are some things you need to know about estate planning when you are single.
Which Documents Do You Need to Prepare?
You need a will and possibly a trust as part of your estate plan. One or both of these documents determine who you want to inherit your assets. If you wish to leave money or a tangible asset to a person or to an organization, your will or trust will spell out the details.
You should also have a power of attorney within your estate plan. This is a very important part of planning an estate. The power of attorney can impact you while you are still living. There are different types of powers of attorney. You can choose two different people to fill these roles, which is advisable. You need one person to take care of your finances if you can no longer do it on your own, so you need a financial power of attorney. A power of attorney for your medical needs makes your medical decisions if you are incapacitated. You will still have the power to say what happens to you, but it will be verbalized by another person.
What Can Happen if You Don't Plan Your Estate?
If you fail to plan your estate, or if you do not do so properly with an experienced attorney, your estate will go to the state and it will be handled from there. You will have no say as to what becomes of your assets. In many cases, the state will divide your assets to blood relatives. This may not be ideal in your situation if you are not close to or have no relationship with your family. If you have a charity or a close friend you want to gift your assets to upon your death, you need to be specific in your estate plan. If you do not plan your estate, it is possible your estate will not go to those closest to you.
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