If you are single, your estate planning concerns will typically be different than a married couple’s. But every adult should have at minimum a will that names an executor and a medical power of attorney.
Below are some tips for single individuals who are contemplating their estate plans.
Single doesn’t mean “no dependents”
Many single people still have dependents, including minor children. For these folks, naming a guardian for their kids should be a primary focus of any estate plan. Also, the person whom you choose as custodial guardian of the children may not necessarily be the one you want to leave in charge of their financial arrangements.
The reason you are single matters, too
Were you formerly married and now divorced or widowed? If so, you may need to make changes to life insurance policies and/or retirement accounts unless you want your ex or late spouse’s heirs or beneficiaries to collect on any policies and accounts.
Select the right executor
Before formally naming your executor or personal representative in your will, have a frank discussion with that person to be sure this role is something that they would be comfortable handling. It’s always good to name an alternate executor in the event your first choice can’t serve in that capacity when the time comes.
Your estate plan should also address your future health
Who will make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to make them for yourself? Ideally, you will name a durable medical power of attorney in an advance health care directive or living will. That person should be up for the challenge of making hard end-of-life decisions based on your previously stated preferences.
Plan now to secure peace of mind
Learning more about your estate planning options allows you to make the best choices that reflect your unique circumstances.