Estate Planning for Singles vs. Married Couples

As a single person, an estate plan is crucial. This blog post will discuss the importance of estate planning for singles.
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Staff Writer, @DooleyNotedLaw

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Estate planning for singles can actually be more complex than for married couples. When creating an estate plan, there are several things to consider. For instance, you need to decide who will inherit your assets. Singles must evaluate whom they trust to handle their belongings and follow your instructions. We’re sharing all the information you need to know about estate planning for singles.

What is an Estate Plan?

No matter how old you are, everyone should have a plan to protect their family’s future. An estate plan is a legal document that states what you want to happen to your belongings after you die. This is very important for both you and your loved ones.

Estate planning is more than just writing a will. You can also set up trusts, choose a guardian for your children, and pick someone to make financial and medical decisions for you if you can’t do it yourself.

There are three ways of handling your Estate Plan:

A Will-based Estate Plan

A Will is a legal document that states who will receive your property and assets after you die. Moreover, you can state any other wishes about your property in the Will. Creating a Will gives you the confidence of knowing that someone will carry out your desires and your loved ones will be secure. Ultimately, the process is easy and stress-free.

An Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas can help you create a Will and make sure it’s legally binding.

A Trust-Based Estate Plan

A Trust-Based Estate Plan is the best way to protect your assets and loved ones. This way, your assets can quickly go to the people you want them to go to after you die. Additionally, you can avoid probate court, which can be long and complicated.

You will complete documents to help you choose guardians for your children. Further, you will list your assets and what should happen if someone gets sick. Therefore, you can relax knowing that your belongings and loved ones will be secure if something happens to you.

Nomination of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is the person who will make decisions for you if you can’t. This person should be someone you know and trust. You can have peace of mind knowing that if something happens and you can’t make decisions, this person will do what’s best for you.

Ultimately, it is essential to have someone to make decisions for you if you can’t make decisions for yourself if something happens. Further, you can have a Power of Attorney for your health and finances.

Estate Planning for Singles vs. Married

There are four main areas in estate planning where single people and married couples differ the most.

Beneficiaries

When estate planning, it is crucial to choose your beneficiaries carefully. This person or people will inherit your assets when you die. Further, the beneficiary designation will override anything that you stated in your Will. For example, suppose you have a life insurance policy with your spouse as the beneficiary. In that case, your spouse will receive the death benefit from the policy even if your Will says something different. Additionally, you can assign beneficiaries to your bank accounts.

If you are married, your spouse usually inherits most of your assets when you die. However, if you are single, you need to choose someone to inherit your assets. This can be a hard choice, but it is crucial. You may want to give your assets to family members, close friends, or even a charity.

Estate Taxes

When you die, the government charges a tax on everything you own. But, married couples can leave their property to the other spouse without paying estate taxes. However, suppose someone dies unmarried and has more than the federal tax exclusion amount of property. In that case, they will have to pay estate taxes.

You can reduce or avoid these taxes by setting up a trust. A trust can help you break up the ownership of your assets and delay or reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. Further, you can name a trustee responsible for managing and controlling the property for the benefit of your designated beneficiaries.

Medical Power of Attorney

If you are too sick or injured to make decisions about your medical care, you will need someone you trust to do it for you. This person is called a “health care proxy” or “health care agent.”

A married couple will commonly appoint their spouse to make these decisions. However, a single person needs to appoint a trusted close family or friend. Therefore, you’ll want to choose carefully because this person will have much power over your medical decisions, including the authority to make end-of-life decisions.

Social Security

For older singles, the government benefits of social security do not let you choose someone to get the money when you die. Only a spouse, child, or former spouse can benefit from your earnings. Check your employer pension plans because they may have similar restrictions.

Why hire an Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas?

Even if you are single, it is essential to have an estate planning lawyer. The reason is to ensure that someone will carry out your wishes if something happens to you. Additionally, an estate planning lawyer can help you choose someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. They can also help ensure that someone distributes your assets the way you want them to be after you die.

Dooley Noted Law can help you create a plan to protect your assets and loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 

The contents of this post, and the posting and viewing of the information on this post, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

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