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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Estate Planning for Singles Without Children

Do I need an estate plan if I am single and do not have children?

If you are single and without children, you are part of a growing crowd in America.  About half of all Americans today are single and an increasingly large percentage of people are electing to forego children.  Many single people believe that an estate plan is not necessary for them.  However, without an estate plan, you will have no control over who receives your assets after your death.  Even further, you may be leaving critical health care and financial decisions to an individual you would not have selected.  Our Macomb County estate planning attorneys discuss some vital estate planning steps all singles should take below.

Create a Will  

If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed according to Michigan law.  Since you are single and without children, your property and other assets will likely first go to your parents, if they are living.  If your parents have predeceased you, all of your assets will be divided among your living siblings and the descendants of your siblings.  Without living siblings, your grandparents are next in line.  When no heirs can be found, your assets will go to the state.

By drafting a will, you can take control over who receives your hard-earned assets.  You have the power to name who you want to receive your assets, which could close friends or a charity. Wills are relatively simple and cost little to create.  Contact an estate planning lawyer to get started on this critical estate planning step.  

Name Your Representative

While none of us want to consider the possibility that we could become incapacitated, it is imperative that you plan for this unpleasant potential reality.  As a single individual without children, you may not have an individual authorized to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.  Your loved ones could be in the unfortunate position of having to petition the court for a conservatorship or guardianship.  By naming a power of attorney for finances and medical decisions, you will give control to the individual you desire to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if the need arises. An estate planning attorney can help you to create power of attorney documents with ease.


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