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ESTATE PLANNING FOR SINGLE PEOPLE

Posted on Fri Jan 25, 2019, on Estate Planning

Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning for an unmarried person, with no children, can be more complicated than a plan for a married couple, with children. The first challenge is helping the person understand the importance of estate planning. A single person with no dependents will often say, “who cares? I’ll be dead.” The second challenge is helping the person decide who the money will go to. If he/she is charitable, then he/she may already have several charities in mind. If he/she is not charitable, and not close to any family members, then the challenge is choosing who it will go to. The final challenge for a single person is choosing the right person to act as a fiduciary, such as a Trustee or Executor, or as an Agent under a Power of Attorney. He/she may not feel comfortable choosing someone they are not close to.

Why It’s Important:

Why It’s Important Everyone works hard to accumulate some assets and to be able to retire on such savings in a comfortable manner. When someone says “I don’t care where the money goes,” then it’s important to delve deeper, finding out what they care about, whether it is a specific cause, or organization. Many people are passionate about their pets, so the money may go to a pet-related charity. Many people are passionate about their alma mater, so we discuss what a difference it would make if it went to that school, with a scholarship set up in their name. It’s important to create an estate plan not only upon your death but also upon a disability. If a person becomes disabled, then someone should be named to take care of his/her finances and his/her health care decisions.

Where Will It Go:

Where will it go As stated above, many single people choose charities as their beneficiaries. Another option is to provide for family and friends. It’s important to think through who such people will be, and what percentages they each will receive. Further, we take a look at the “what if” scenarios. If this person is not around, does his/her share get reallocated among the beneficiaries?  Or does it go to this person’s descendants? If this person has an alcohol problem, does his share get forfeited?  Or can we require him to get clean before he gets his share? There are many unforeseen scenarios that can come up. The goal is to provide solutions and flexible options to address such challenges.

Who Will Take Care of Me:

Who will take care of me Choosing a fiduciary, or trustee/executor, can be the biggest stumbling block for single persons. He/she may not have a person to trust in these roles. For financial decisions, there are options like choosing an advisor or bank trustee.  For medical decisions, you can also choose a third party. There are companies who have the capability of taking care of these decisions for you. For example, such a company can have social workers, geriatric care managers and caregivers employed by them. These professionals can be named as the agent under powers of attorney.  A single person does have options, and it is up to him/her to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL offers to figure it out.

There are more and more single people in America today. The statistics show that there are fewer people getting married.  If a single person has no children, it is imperative to prepare an estate plan.

Conclusion, Estate Planning for Single People:

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Bott & Associates, LTD. for their insight into estate planning for single people.

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