how to handle estate planning when youre single

How to Handle Estate Planning When You’re Single

Estate planning when you’re single establishes what will happen to your assets upon death. Your last will and living will make sure your wishes are carried out if you are incapacitated or pass away. Your estate is comprised of everything you own at the time of your death. This can include cars and homes, bank accounts, and life insurance. Estate planning for singles comes with a different set of considerations than those for married couples. Estate tax planning is equally as important because you likely have people in your life you want to take care of after you are gone.

There were 7.3 million unmarried couples living together in 2015. You may be in one of those domestic partnerships today. However, the government may not recognize your civil union. Even if you are single, developing and executing your estate planning checklist now will ensure your assets are appropriately distributed to the right people. Otherwise, the government may claim all of them. Make planning your estate a priority while you are healthy. Learn about estate planning when you’re single and how it can affect the lives of the people you love after you have passed.

Estate Planning When You’re Single: The Checklist

Does a single person need a will? Yes, if the single person has possessions. Estate planning when you’re single can organize how you want things handled when you fall ill or pass away.

Consider the following estate planning essentials:

  • Last Will and Testament – Your will determines how your assets will be divided amongst the people you love. If you have minor children, it can name the person you want to take care of them. Your possessions go into probate court upon death.
  • A living will – A living will dictates how you will be taken care of when you are incapacitated. This often entails naming who you give powers of attorney to, and what medical treatment you prefer.
  • Trust – A trust holdsTrusts are used to avoid probate tax liabilities.
  • Funeral planning – The burden of funeral planning often falls on your grieving family members. Estate planning can include your funeral directives, so arrangements and payments are taken care of ahead of time.
Benefits of Estate Planning When You’re Single

Estate planning for singles does not have to be stressful. In fact, getting the help you need to plan your estate comes with several benefits. If you have been avoiding it, see how estate planning when you’re single can benefit you and the ones you love.

  • Peace of mind – Passing away often places stress on the people who survive you. Once you’ve developed your estate plan, you and your family members can rest assured there will be no added stress or unexpected worries to deal with.

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