Yes, You Still Need an Estate Plan Even If You Are Single and Have No Kids
While married couples with children have heirs to worry about, even single people without kids still have plenty of reasons to prepare for the future by putting an estate plan in place. Whether you are divorced, had a spouse pass away, or simply never married at all, you should approach estate planning with the help of an experienced attorney.
Why Estate Planning Is Important for Singles
Dying without an estate plan comes with unexpected consequences, especially for unmarried North Carolina residents. Without proper estate planning ahead of time, the probate court decides who gets what after you die based on an impersonal formula that doesn’t take into account your desires.
You may not want your assets going to your parents, for instance, or if they have already passed away, you may not want everything to go to a distant relative you’ve never met. This aspect is particularly important if you have a romantic partner you share your life with but haven’t married. Your significant other could be left with nothing once the courts start divvying up your estate.
Estate planning for singles is more than just making sure the assets you’ve worked hard for go to the right place, however. It also entails getting ready for the effects of aging and having a plan in place so you are cared for and your medical wishes are known. An estate planning lawyer can help you identify your priorities and meet specific legal needs as a single person through a combination of:
- Checking on and revising beneficiaries for retirement accounts or life insurance
- Creating a will
- Drafting healthcare directives and granting power of attorney to someone you trust when you can no longer make decisions on your own
- Setting up and funding trusts for assets you want to go to specific people or organizations and avoid the probate process entirely
- Updating your estate plan if your circumstances change, such as if you get married, have or adopt a child, etc.
Start Planning for Your Future Today
Everyone needs an estate plan eventually, regardless of their marital status, and the best time to prepare for unexpected life changes is right now. Watch our free online webinar for more information on North Carolina estate plans, or give us a call and schedule a consultation.