Even the unmarried and childless can benefit from estate planning
Whether you are single and childless by choice or simply have not found the right “one” yet one topic that may not be on your radar is estate planning. This may especially true if you do not have children or a spouse. Still, there are good reasons why the unmarried should still execute a comprehensive estate plan.
Why you need a will and/or a revocable trust
Even if you do not have a spouse or child to pass down your assets to as heirs does not mean that you do not care who gets your property after you die. You may have beloved siblings, a good friend or relative or even a favorite charity that you would like to inherit your assets after you pass on. However, unless you have a will and/or a revocable trust that states these preferences, your assets will be passed on per South Carolina’s laws of intestate succession which may not be to your liking. It is better to be prepared with a will and/or revocable trust. After all you can always amend a will or a revocable trust if you marry or have children down the road.
Document your health care and financial preferences before it’s too late
Another important aspect of estate planning that the single and childless should not put off is executing a power of attorney and a living will. There are two types of power of attorney: health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney. The person designated as health care power of attorney will make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. The person designated as financial power of attorney will manage your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. In a living will, you will dictate what types of end-of-life care such as life support or CPR.
These are all very personal decisions, and it is likely that you have some significant opinions on who you want to manage your affairs and what kind of end-of-life care you want. Since no one is guaranteed long life and good health it is important to make sure these decisions are made sooner rather than later. And, like a will or revocable trust, you can always modify these documents if you marry or have children in the future.
Estate planning is for everyone, even the single and childless
As this shows, everyone can benefit from estate planning. You do not need to be married or have children to have preferences over what happens if you are seriously ill or what happens to your estate after you pass on. With the right estate planning documents in hand, you can rest assured that your wishes will be met.