Survey after survey finds that most of us do not have an estate plan. Reasons cited by those who respond to these surveys include everything from a lack of time to a belief that there is little reason for such a plan. Those who fall into the latter category often include single individuals — but this belief is misguided.
There are many reasons for single folk to get an estate plan in place. Three of the more common include the following.
One of the primary benefits of estate planning, regardless of marital or familial status, is control. You get to control everything from healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated to who gets what when you die.
The importance of control in the event of incapacitation cannot be overstated. A proper estate plan often includes powers of attorney and health care directives or living wills. These legal documents name an individual you choose to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot due to a sudden accident or serious illness.
When those around you know what you want, they are more likely to follow through with the plan. Having everything spelled out within an estate plan helps give your friends and family the direction they need, whether trying to make decisions about your medical care or the distribution of the estate.
#3: Financial benefits
Putting together an estate plan often requires carefully reviewing all assets and debts. This provides an opportunity to review your finances and may catalyze change. There are also financial benefits directly tied to estate planning. These can be available with trusts which are legal tools that can result in benefits like tax savings.
An attorney experienced in this area of the law can review your situation and provide guidance, drafting an estate plan to meet your needs.