Single, No Children? You Still Need an Estate Plan
Many people believe that if you are single and do not have any children, you do not need an estate plan. This could not be farther from the truth. Even without children or a spouse, there are probably still people in your life that you want to look out for, or maybe even a favorite charity you would like your estate to benefit. Estate planning also includes enabling your loved ones to help you in the event that you get sick or hurt and cannot make decisions for yourself through powers of attorney. Without powers of attorney, the people you would want to make medical decisions or manage your finances may not be able to. This type of planning may be especially important for single adults.
Why Should Single People With No Children Make a Testamentary Plan?
Testamentary planning is the part of estate planning that lets you decide what happens to your property after you have passed away. Even if you are still young, you have probably already worked hard for what you have. Your assets may be worth more than you think, especially when you start adding up things like your 401(k) and life insurance policies or if you own any real estate.
You should decide for yourself who these things will benefit when you are no longer here. Maybe you do not have children of your own, but you have nieces and nephews, or even close friends you would like to have some of your things. Personal items can be included if there are things you would like a certain person to keep, even if only for sentimental reasons. Charitable giving is always an option as well if there is a cause you would like to support.
Business owners can use their estate plans to protect the company they worked hard to build as well. If you own all or part of a corporation, there are ways to plan for your business’s continued success.
How Does Estate Planning Help Me?
Everyone should at least have powers of attorney in place for health care and finances. If something were to happen to you where you became incapacitated, even if it is a temporary condition, you would need another person to step in and help you. A health care power of attorney lets you give a specific individual you trust the right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot. A financial power of attorney would let someone you choose manage your money in this event.
It may be especially important for single adults to make sure they have named the right person in their powers of attorney. For many, this might be a close friend who has a good understanding of what you would want rather than a relative. Either way, it is important to decide in advance who you would want to help you in case of incapacity.
Contact an Illinois Estate Planning Attorney
If you are interested in creating an estate plan, we are here to help. Gierach Law Firm is skilled at building thorough estate plans that include both testamentary documents and incapacity planning tools. Call 630-756-1160 to arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced Naperville estate planning lawyer.
Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.