Many of our clients are married. What I have to say today is still relevant, conceptually (and even in some of the details).
So don’t skip on by.
As I have talked about before, estate planning is something that many families continue to neglect.
I’m not here to toot that horn again today. But there is actually more to the story for the “unattached” out there than you might think, so I’m picking up that ball today.
One thing I WILL say to those families, many of whom are sending children back to school: this school year, make your children’s FINANCIAL education a priority. Many schools don’t ever cover these topics in any kind of substantive detail … the ball is in your court.
So if you don’t have finances on the syllabus, add it yourself. Your future generations will thank you.
And speaking of future generations…
Estate Planning For Singles
“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” -George Edward Woodberry
In reality, estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families.
In fact, many estate planning attorneys believe that singles need it more. For married people, it is pretty much assumed that a spouse, even in the absence of any planning, is going to be the person that the court is going to appoint as the guardian over your personal and health care decisions and conservator over your financial matters.
But, if you’re single, you need to appoint someone to make your personal, health care, and financial decisions, or the court will decide for you — and it may not be the person you would want.
A common misconception among most singles is that they don’t have much money, so they don’t need estate planning.
But typically they find they have more assets than they think. Singles often have a life insurance policy through an employer, perhaps a retirement account fed by their paychecks, equity if they own a home, and sometimes accidental death benefits from credit cards. Once their estate has been settled, a parent, sibling, niece or nephew will most likely end up with this modest inheritance.
However, it is important for anyone, single or married, to create a real plan in order to designate who will be responsible for our health care and financial decisions when we are no longer able to do so ourselves. You may have every intention of leaving your nephew your “vintage” Xbox, but without estate planning in place, the court may sell it off in an estate sale so the money can be distributed.
Besides, your nephew probably doesn’t want it anyway.
Emelia Mensa EA, CPA
Emelia Mensa CPA