Everyone seems to want a bit of a fresh start in the new year. Resolutions are often made around health and business. Many people also make commitments regarding their finances such as vowing to spend less on credit cards or making sure that they stick to a budget. One of the best decisions someone can make at the start of a new year is to consider their estate plan. According to the United States Census, there are over 35 million single-person households in America. Many people wonder if they need to worry about estate planning as a single person. Estate planning for single persons is just as critical as for married people. The short answer is that no matter your life circumstance, you should consider visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC at 512-505-2753 about your financial wishes after you pass away.
Single with Children
If you are a single person with children, you should absolutely consider executing a solid estate plan for the benefit and future of your children. An estate plan does not just include the distribution of your finances after your death. A properly created estate plan will also afford you the opportunity to make decisions regarding who will be the legal guardian of your child following your death. You will also be able to leave your assets to your minor children through a proper estate plan and ensure their financial security, even if you pass away. Estate planning for the single person with children is critical to ensure not only your financial rights but your parental rights as well. Consider visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC to ensure your children are taken care of according to your specific wishes.
Single with No Children
Even if you do not have any children, it is important to understand that you are your estate. Who will make your decisions regarding your health care if you get into a serious accident and can not make those decisions on your own behalf? What if you become incapacitated in some way? Who will handle your financial affairs? Even if you do not have any family members that you would want to leave your assets to, perhaps there is a charitable organization that you want to bequeath certain assets to after you pass away. An estate plan does not just include passing on assets to children or other family members.
Estate planning for a single person with no children affords them the opportunity to make all of the important life decisions for themselves ahead of any catastrophic event. Without establishing an estate plan with a durable power of attorney or assigning a person to act on your behalf regarding medical decisions, a single person completely gives up their right to make these decisions for themselves. Additionally, if a single person passes away without a proper estate plan, they have simply given up their legal rights regarding their estate distribution and the Texas state’s intestate laws will unilaterally apply. These laws may not come close to what the actual wishes of the decedent were and therefore it is critical for every person, no matter the marital status, to ensure their legal and financial rights are protected both during life and after death.
Single Person with Few Assets
Many single people think that because they are not exceptionally wealthy, they should not consider making an estate plan. However, anything you own will need to be distributed upon your death. Make sure that the assets you do have go to either the people or organizations that you care about. Additionally, as previously mentioned, estate plans include much more than the distribution of assets. Estate planning for the single person with few assets can include health care directives and the appointment of someone to handle the single person’s finances if they remain physically or mentally unable to do so in the future.
Single Person with Limited Family
If you are a single person with a limited family or a small pool of key people you would wish to leave your assets to after you pass away, you should still consider an estate plan. It is likely that there is an organization worthy of your financial support, and creating an estate plan can help ensure that you support the organizations and charities you believe in, even after your death. Additionally, if you only have a limited family, you may want to seriously consider appointing a close friend to handle all of your finances or health care directives if you remain unable to do so. Without this legal appointment, some distant relative you do not truly know could end up making serious life-changing decisions on your behalf. Remember, an estate plan includes not only financial decisions, but health care directives as well.
Estate Planning for the Single Person
There are many other unique or unconventional circumstances in which having an estate plan can benefit a single person. Do you have any eggs frozen for future use in the anticipation of having children? Do you have a close family friend that has children you would want to support financially for their college education? Do you have personal items or family heirlooms you would want to go to specific people outside your family? Do you have a pet that you would want to go to a certain friend or family member? As a single person, there are many different scenarios that would benefit from having an estate plan. At Ibekwe Law, PLLC, we pride ourselves on helping every person achieve their estate planning goals. We look forward to the opportunity to ensure that all of your wishes are carried out both during your life and after your death, no matter your life circumstances. If you are single, you should take the time to consider visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC at 512-505-2753 to help you better understand all of your legal options and rights.