Estate Planning for Singles Living in Houston, Texas
Estate planning for singles presents unique challenges that many people overlook. In fact, people often believe that if you’re single, you don’t need an estate plan.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The truth is that single people need the protection of comprehensive estate planning, perhaps even more than others, because there is no “single” answer to the question of Who’s in Charge? if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
Who will make financial and medical decisions for you?
One of the most important considerations for a single person is to make sure that a structure is in place for financial and medical decisions to be made in the event of incapacity. Unfortunately, a person can become incapacitated at any stage of life. That’s why everyone from young adults over the age of 18 to the oldest senior citizen needs to designate trusted agents to handle their financial and medical matters in the event they cannot do so themselves. When you’re single, though, sometimes it’s difficult to identify who would be appropriate to name as executor, trustee, or agent to handle your affairs.
Caring for your beneficiaries
As a single person, you may have issues that need to be addressed in your estate planning such as caring for an elderly parent or disabled family member, making arrangements for your pets after you’re gone, or continuing support for a charitable cause that means a lot to you.
If you have children, you may be concerned about protecting their inheritance from a divorcing spouse and other creditors.
Updating beneficiary designations
Another priority is making sure that the beneficiary designations on your life insurance and retirement benefits are up to date. Often these beneficiary designations are completed when the insurance or retirement account is first acquired and then forgotten so that they don’t reflect what you want to have happen as life circumstances change.
Avoiding the expense of probate
Transferring assets at death with a minimum of time and expense is also important to you. Tools such as revocable trusts and beneficiary designations on non-retirement financial accounts are available to you to reduce the complexity that can occur when a person passes away.
When we meet with you, we discuss your concerns regarding future financial and medical decisions and whom you want to benefit at your death and then work with you to come up with a plan to accomplish your goals.
Learn more about estate planning for the non-traditional family in this short video from one of our Facebook broadcasts. While you’re there, be sure to LIKE our page!