Estate Planning for the Single Adult

Estate Planning for the Single Adult

Esther shrugged as she read the headline, 4 Common Estate Planning Errors and How to Avoid Them. She didn’t bother to read the article. Esther thinks because she is young, single with no kids and a modest bank balance that she does not need an estate plan. Esther is wrong. Even single adults – young or not-so-young – need to do their estate planning.

A Simple Will.

Most adults own something – a car, furniture and household goods, or electronics, for example. If the unthinkable happens, where will all those possessions go? It does not matter if the person who died is old or young, single or married, their property will go to someone.

When someone leaves a Will that distributes assets, their estate goes through probate. Their property is distributed to heirs based on the terms of the Will.

A person who dies without writing a Will is referred to as being intestate. Their estate still goes through probate. It’s just that their property is distributed according to state intestacy laws.

Esther and her mother are estranged. She has told friends she would like her brother to have her car and her roommates to have their choice of her personal property. If Esther dies without a Will, however, her property will probably go to her parents under state law. She lost her last chance to speak her mind.

More Than a Will.

Estate planning is not just about death and writing a Will. Her estate planning attorney may advise her to sign the following documents:

  • Durable Power of Attorney. By signing a power of attorney form, Esther can authorize an agent to make decisions for her. Powers can be broad or limited, depending on your situation. Esther needs to make sure the power of attorney is durable. A general power of attorney terminates upon incapacity. The powers granted under a durable power of attorney continue even after incapacity.
  • Medical Health Care Power of Attorney. This document allows the principal (Esther in this situation) to name someone to make medical decisions for her. It may seem unlikely that a young person needs a medical health care power of attorney. However, planning for a possible incapacity is better than trying to deal with incapacity as it happens.
  • Living Will. This document may be considered optional, but still important. By signing it, Esther can tell the world what type of end-of-life treatments she wants and does not Having this document in place could spare her friends and family the turmoil of trying to decide what’s best for her.

Married or single, someone will need to pay your bills and take care of your finances if you suddenly become disabled. Someone will need to communicate with your medical providers. And someone will need to distribute your property after you are gone.

Do the Right Thing, No Matter Where You Are in Life.

At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we’ve helped many clients develop comprehensive estate plans that meet their goals and needs. We can set up an appointment for you if you just call 772-324-9050 or use our convenient Contact Form.

Located in Palm City, the Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A. also serves clients in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie.

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