Interestingly enough, for the first time in the United States, there are more people who are single than married. A common misconception that typically singles make is that they do not need to plan their estates until they are married or sometime in the future. Everyone should have some type of estate planning done as to protect themselves and also to protect their assets in case of incapacity or death.
People who are single should definitely be concerned with estate planning, especially in the even of an incapacitation, mainly because they do not have a spouse to make medical or financial decisions in the case of an incapacitation. This is where a durable power of attorney would definitely be of help. Also, disability and long term insurance care should be a major concern for single people due to them not having a spouse to rely on for expenses due to an incapacity or injury. If a single person does not have a will or plan established then in the case of an incapacitation, the persons family members or friends will have to go to court to have a person in charge of making financial and medical decisions for said person and this will take up a lot of time and a great deal of money, especially if there is an objection to the person who wants to be in charge of the decision making.
Single people should also be very concerned with what will happen to their assets if they do not have an estate plan created for them. Typically there would be a great deal of taxes and costs incurred by the heirs and also the heirs would have to go through a great deal of trouble and time to have a chance or inheriting any assets.
The Five Documents that a single person needs for a good estate plan are as follows:
1. A Will – To have a public record of what is to happen of assets and to carry out specific intent.
2. A Living Will – To have all specific health care needs and wishes to be known in case of incapacity or death.
3. A Revocable Trust – A document that entails what is to happen of assets but instead of being a public record it is private.
4. Health Care Power of Attorney- Allows a certain person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
5. Power of Attorney – One of the most important aspects of a single person’s estate plan because the power of attorney basically puts another person in charge of decision making for you, in financial aspects, if you are unable to do so.
With the above five documents, a single person would have a good estate plan that covers most of the important aspects that a single person should be thinking about. Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220 for more information regarding estate planning.