A common misconception about estate planning is that it only becomes necessary when you get married and/or have children. This leads many single adults who do not have children to believe that planning is not important. The Coral Gables estate planning attorneys at Stivers Law dispel this common myth and explain why estate planning is beneficial for single adults who do not have children.
Estate Planning Does More than You Thought
People often (mistakenly) think that estate planning is all about death. While it is true that estate planning helps to ensure that your estate assets are distributed according to your wishes after you are gone, a well thought out and properly drafted plan can accomplish much more. Planning for the very real possibility of incapacity, for example, is another common estate planning objective as are probate and tax avoidance. A comprehensive estate plan can also help you to protect and grow the assets you acquire over the course of your lifetime and make those assets work for you during your retirement years. Given the wide-ranging goals that an estate plan can help with, it becomes easier to understand why every adult needs one.
Estate Planning for Singles
Whether you are still a young adult who plans to marry and become a parent at some point, a newly divorced single parent, or you have simply made the decision to remain single and never have children, there are several reasons why estate planning is important for you as well as ways in which you can benefit from creating a comprehensive estate plan, including:
- To avoid leaving behind an intestate estate. Whether you have already amassed a sizeable fortune, or you have a modest estate, you likely care what happens to the assets you do own if something happens to you. If you die without at least a basic Will in place, the state gets to decide who receives your assets. Close friends, favorite nieces and nephews, and beloved charities will receive nothing from your estate.
- The ability to nominate a guardian for your children. If you have children in the future, your Last Will and Testament offers you the only official opportunity to nominate a Guardian for your children should one ever be needed.
- Protecting your assets in case you become incapacitated. If you are incapacitated because of a tragic accident or debilitating illness, someone must take over control of your assets. Without an estate plan in place that addresses the issue of incapacity, your family members could end up in court battling over the right to be that person. That litigation could cause a divide in the family for many years to come. Moreover, the person who does end up with control of your assets might not be the person you want controlling them.
- Making crucial healthcare and end-of-life decisions now while you can make them. The same basic concept applies to making health care decision for you in the event of your incapacity. If you did not execute the appropriate advance directive as part of your overall estate plan, a court may end up deciding who will make life and death decision for you if you cannot make them yourself. That person, in turn, could end up faced with making those decisions without the benefit of guidance from you – guidance you could have left behind in an advance directive.
Contact Coral Gables Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE webinar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning for single adults, or you are ready to get started on your plan, contact the experienced Coral Gables estate planning attorneys at Stivers Law by calling (305) 456-3255 to schedule an appointment.