Do I need to create an estate plan if I’m single?

single woman with thumbs up

Many people assume that estate planning is for married couples because they often have to include contingency plans for minor children. However, that is not the case. Everyone, whether single or married, should have an estate plan that spells out how they want their estate distributed after their death. If you neglect to create an estate plan, the state will reign over your estate. Keep reading to learn why single people should create an estate plan and discover how a seasoned Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney can help you protect your future. 

Why should single people create an estate plan?

Married couples often use estate planning to ensure that their minor children are protected in the event they pass away. However, estate planning is just as significant for single people. Singles do not need to provide a contingency plan to safeguard others. Instead, setting up an estate p[lan will lay the foundation for future protection. Single people should create an estate plan because it gives them the power to appoint someone they trust to make financial and medical decisions on their behalf if they cannot do so themselves. Married couples have a clear set of beneficiaries that include their spouse and children. Single people do not have a clear set of beneficiaries. This is why it is critical to create an estate plan to ensure whoever they want to receive their assets after they die receives them.

Moreover, as mentioned above, creating an estate plan allows single people to designate a power of attorney and health care proxy. Single people can appoint a power of attorney to act on their behalf regarding economic affairs if they become incapacitated. Without an estate plan, they cannot ensure someone they trust will make critical financial decisions on their behalf. Instead, the court would need to assign someone to handle important financial decisions. A medical care proxy allows individuals to appoint someone they trust to make important medical decisions on their behalf if they are not able to do so. Health care directives are one of the most significant estate planning tools as it ensures a person’s medical wishes are carried out correctly and instructions are followed precisely in the event of incapacity. Without these documents, a single person risks certain interventions being taken without them wanting them. The absence of these legal documents puts a single person at risk of certain interventions without their consent.

Furthermore, married people have natural heirs, spouses, and children. For single people, if an estate plan has not been created, state law will determine the order of inheritance. Essentially, this means those intended to receive an inheritance may not receive it if their estate is governed by intestacy law.

If you need help creating an estate plan, contact a trusted Montgomery County estate planning attorney. Regardless of your marital status, don’t wait until it’s too late to create an estate plan. Our firm is prepared to help you protect your hard-earned assets.