Not Just About Family: Estate Planning For Single People

Posted on: 13 February 2023

Many may be under the impression that estate planning is all about the loved ones left behind. It's true that a good estate plan will make things easier for family and friends. However, that gives some single people the wrong idea about this important matter. Even if you don't have close family, the below three issues should make it clear how important it is to make plans.

Care for Your Pet 

If you are a pet owner, you likely feel that they are your family. However, attention is needed to ensure that they will be properly cared for when you pass away. Since they are considered property, you cannot leave money or other things to your pet. Instead, though, you can create a plan that covers their care and someone to care for them.

Be sure you discuss things with the person you intend to name as the caregiver for your pet first. Then, meet with an estate lawyer and create a pet trust. This way, you can fund the trust with enough money to cover your pet's needs, appoint a caregiver for your pet, and even specify how you want that care to take place. For example, you can indicate that the pet should be groomed monthly, taken to the vet every six months, and only eat certain pet foods.

Leave Your Possessions

When you pass away, the state will take over if you don't leave any instructions in place. They will decide who among your blood relatives will receive your belongings. In some cases, the relative might not be someone you want to inherit. Leaving your property to a friend, relative, or charity organization who you choose can be as easy as creating a simple last will and testament. Make a list of your property and match it up with people you know who would appreciate receiving it. If you have a favorite charity, mention them as well. Consider schools, cities, service organizations, medical facilities, and more when deciding on a charity.

Healthcare Directives

Estate plans should cover not only needs after death but when incapacity strikes. If you are unable to make decisions because of a medical situation, a healthcare directive provides medical personnel with guidance on how you want to be cared for. The directive should cover triggering events, such as being in a coma or on life support, along with what you want to be done and more importantly, what you don't want to be done.

Speak to an estate planning lawyer to find out more about the above.


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