If you have never been married, divorced, or widowed, or if you do not have children, your estate plan may come with unique circumstances. Nonetheless, it is still important to establish one. Continue reading to learn why you need to create an estate plan if you are single and how an experienced Putnam County estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help you in doing so.
Is it still necessary to create an estate plan if I am single?
Commonly, individuals usually pass their assets down to their spouse and children, or otherwise to their parents, siblings, and other relatives. But if you are a single individual with no living relatives, you may not have this option.
However, there are alternatives at your disposal. For one, you may have close friends, that you consider to be like family, and you want them to be taken care of when you pass on. Or, you may have a favorite charitable organization, that you have donated to throughout your lifetime, and you want it to continue to receive support when you pass on.
With that being said, it is important to assign heirs to your estate because, otherwise, it may go through the probate process. This means that your assets may end up as property of New York State.
What do I need to plan?
To reiterate, they are likely many individuals in your life that are not technically blood relatives but that you care for as such. With this, you may want to incorporate them into your estate plan. You may incorporate them in the following ways:
- Assign a loved one to be the agent of your advanced healthcare directive.
- Assign a loved one to be the agent of your general power of attorney.
- Assign a loved one to be the guardian of your pet(s).
- Name a loved one as the beneficiary of your retirement plan or life insurance policy.
- Name a loved one as the beneficiary of your checking account and savings account.
- Name a loved one as your heir in your will.
- Name a loved one as your heir in your trust.
As far as your advanced healthcare directive, general power of attorney, and guardianship go, it may be in your best interest to assign multiple successor agents in your estate plan as well. This is in case your original agent becomes incapacitated or passes on before you do. Otherwise, this assignment may go to a very distant relative or a court-appointed individual.
In the end, a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC is here whenever you are ready to initiate your estate planning. Simply contact our firm at your earliest possible convenience.