A common misperception about estate planning is the belief that it does not become necessary until you marry and/or become a parent. This simply is not true. The Woburn estate planning attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices explain why estate planning is every bit as important for you when you are single.
Planning for Your Death Is Not the Only Point of an Estate Plan
The mistaken belief that estate planning is all about death often causes singles to believe they do not need an estate plan. While it is true that estate planning helps to ensure that your estate assets are distributed according to your wishes after you are gone, a well thought out and properly drafted plan can accomplish much more. Planning for the very real possibility of incapacity, for example, is another common estate planning objective as are probate and tax avoidance. A comprehensive estate plan can also help you to protect and grow the assets you acquire over the course of your lifetime and make those assets work for you during your retirement years. Given the wide-ranging goals that an estate plan can help with, it becomes easier to understand why every adult needs one.
Reasons to Plan If You Are Single
There are several reasons why estate planning is important even if you are single, including:
- You need to be protected in case you suffer a period of incapacity. If you are incapacitated because of a tragic accident or debilitating illness, someone must take over control of your assets. Without an estate plan in place that addresses the issue of incapacity, your family members could end up in court battling over the right to be that person. That litigation could cause a divide in the family for many years to come. Moreover, the person who does end up with control of your assets might not be the person you want controlling them.
- You want to avoid leaving behind an intestate estate. Whether you have already amassed a sizeable fortune, or you have a modest estate, you likely care what happens to the assets you do own if something happens to you. If you die without at least a basic Will in place, the State of Texas gets to decide who receives your assets. Close friends, favorite nieces and nephews, and beloved charities will receive nothing from your estate.
- You need to choose a guardian for your children. If you are a single parent, one of the most powerful reasons to execute a Will is because it offers you the only official opportunity to nominate a Guardian for your children should one ever be needed.
- You want to decide who will make health care decisions for you. If you become incapacitated, and you did not execute the appropriate advance directive as part of your overall estate plan, a court may end up deciding who will be in charge of making life and death decision for you if you cannot make them yourself.
Contact Woburn Estate Planning Attorneys
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Woburn estate planning attorneys at DeBruyckere Law Offices by calling our New Hampshire office at (603) 894-4141 or our Massachusetts office (978) 969-0331 to learn more or visit our website at http://dadlawoffices.com .
Yes. Marriage is one of several life events that should cause you to immediately review and revise your existing estate plan.
Yes. Often, the best reason to create an estate plan has nothing to do with the monetary value of your estate assets.
You should discuss your choice of Executor with your estate planning attorney; however, consider appointing someone with a legal and/or financial background and who will be able to handle the practical aspects of administering estate while also grieving your death.