Estate Planning For Singles

The ranks of those who are single are growing steadily. Now, about half of Americans are single, compared to about one-third in 1970.

But singles have some unique challenges when it comes to estate planning.

For example, if you die without a will and are married, your estate goes to your spouse. But if you are single and die without a will, your assets may be dispersed in ways you might not have wanted, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

In most cases, your estate would pass along bloodlines, first to children, then to parents and then to siblings. If no living relatives can be found, the money would go to the state. There would be no chance for any money to go to close friends, unmarried partners or charities.

For these reasons, it is important for single people to at least have a will or revocable living trust stating specifically how you want your assets distributed upon your death.

Additionally, if you donโ€™t appoint someone to handle your financial and medical affairs in the event of incapacity, the duties could fall to a distant relative or a stranger appointed by the state.

So you should sign a power of attorney and health care directive.

Accounts with beneficiaries, such as retirement accounts, go to those who are named as beneficiaries, no matter what your will or trust says. So it is important these documents be up to date.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to contact us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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