If you’ve ever come across an estate planning seminar, book, or any other type of similar material, you’ve probably noticed that most of the advice contained within is aimed at seniors and married couples. There is very little information out there about how a single person should begin estate planning, or even why a single person needs an estate plan. Though single people are the least likely to have any kind of estate plan, they are in just as much need as their married counterparts. Let’s take a look at why.
Reason 1: Incapacity
If you are injured or fall ill to the extent that you are no longer able to make choices or communicate, this is known as legal incapacity. Someone who is legally incapacitated has to have someone else pointed by a court who can make decisions on that person’s behalf. If you don’t have an estate plan, you have no way of choosing who this person is. On the other hand, you can create an estate plan that will allow you to choose who you wish to serve as your decision-maker.
Reason 2: Guardians
If you’re a single parent, it is even more important for you to create an estate plan because without it you will have no control over who will become your child’s guardian if you should die or become incapacitated. Whether the other parent is involved in the child’s life or not, you have the right to select whom you wish to serve as a guardian should you no longer be able to act as parent.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.