Planning for the future can be a difficult task as one will have to make decisions on complex legal and financial matters. For adults with children and other heirs, their estate plans will contain provisions that account for what they want to happen to their personal property after they pass. Unmarried adults may not think these types of plans are necessary for them since they do not have a spouse or children, but estate planning is for everyone.
Unmarried adults may not have a partner or children, but they likely have an idea of what they want to happen to their property. They also probably want to have a say over what will happen with their health care in case of incapacitation. Single adults have unique estate planning needs, and they would be wise not to overlook the importance of long-term planning.
Potential health care needs
An adult may need extensive care in the event of an incapacitating injury or illness in the future. Without a spouse to make decisions, a single adult will benefit from having certain documents drafted that will allow him or her to have an element of control over these things. A health care power of attorney names someone to make important medical decisions, while a living will outlines one’s preferences regarding medical care.
Likewise, a financial power of attorney appoints a specific individual to make all money-related decisions if incapacitated. Single adults also want to have a say over what happens to their property after they pass, even if they don’t have direct heirs. Whether it’s charitable giving, caring for a family member or something else, there are specific tools available that can help them accomplish their goals.
Consider the future
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning. Single adults may find it helpful to seek an assessment of their financial situation in order to create the most effective plan possible for their unique needs. When making these types of plans, it is always prudent to think long-term, considering what will be best in the future.
It is also helpful to remember that estate plans are subject to change. Major life changes, such as a marriage, would merit an evaluation of current plans and appropriate adjustments. Adults of any age, marital state, income level and health status will benefit from the protections provided by a thoughtful, carefully crafted estate plan.