A common misconception is that estate planning is only for families. If you are single, estate planning is necessary. A properly drawn estate plan allows you to choose who will be in charge of your healthcare and finances if you become disabled as well as giving your agents instructions on how to manage your assets and take care of you and those dependent on you. You may have children from a previous marriage or have a disabled relative you want to take care of.
Additionally, not having a well-coordinated estate plan in place can create significant problems for your family members. If you are single and don’t have a will in place, your estate becomes intestate, which means that the state will distribute your possessions, which typically go to close relatives, such as children, parents or siblings. If you want your assets to help a disabled relative you may want to consider how an inheritance may effect their eligibility for governmental benefits such as health care
To avoid having a court-appointed representative make financial, medical and estate decisions for you, it is vital that you have an estate plan in place. Jeffrey B. Bock will work with you to counsel and offer guidance so you can have a comprehensive estate plan in place, should you become incapacitated or pass away.
What are Common Estate Planning Documents for Single People?
- Will - A will allows you to designate an executor who will distribute your estate according to your instructions. As a single person, your assets may include your house, car, and pets. Many people develop a close relationship with their pets and want to make sure that their pets are well taken care of when they pass away. You can designate who will take care of your pets and provide those care takers with resources to take care of your pets.
- Retirement Benefits Trust - Many single people have well-funded retirement plans. If your beneficiaries are underage or have special needs, you may want to consider setting up a retirement trust for their benefit.
- Financial Power of Attorney - Consider if you are the victim of a devastating accident, a serious illness and become incapacitated. What happens if you are not capable of making your own decisions and paying your bills, who will do this for you? You may want to take steps to plan for your future while you can. If you do not plan you may fall victim to unscrupulous people during your most vulnerable moments. Do you want a court-appointed guardian in charge of your life? A financial power of attorney gives someone you trust the legal, authority to manage your financial affairs and make decisions for your benefit if you are incapable of doing so.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney Most people do not want a stranger or a judge making medical decisions on their behalf, which is why a healthcare power of attorney is essential. This legal document allows you to designate an agent or representative to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. You can give them instructions on your care and when to terminate care. If you can not evaluate your medical treatment options and give informed consent for your medical treatment, it is essential that you choose someone you can trust and who has good judgment.
Contact My Office to Discuss Your Estate Plan
To find out if a estate planning is right for you, please call 281-962-8529 in Texas or 561-392-8788 in Florida or request an initial confidential consultation online. During your initial consultation, Jeff will meet with you, discuss your needs and determine what estate planning documents you need. Jeff is an experienced estate planning attorney and can help answer all your questions so you can make informed decisions about your estate.