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Single and Secure: The Importance of Estate Planning Even Without Children


Most people believe estate planning is only for married people with families and the wealthy. However, estate planning is just as important for single people, regardless of their financial or marital status. While you may not have to worry about issues like the division of assets or who would take custody of minor children, you still need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your estate.

It’s important to communicate who will inherit your estate when you pass away and have something in place should you be mentally incapacitated. This article will discuss why you should create an estate plan even if you don’t have children and provide some things you should consider when creating one.

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Having an estate plan can help protect your assets while you’re alive, after your passing, or if you become mentally incapacitated. It can protect assets such as property, cars, money, intellectual property, and anything else valuable.

If you die without a will or an estate plan, you are “intestate.” When you die intestate, the probate court will distribute all your assets per Alabama intestate laws. Your assets may not be distributed as you wish. 

Things to Consider When Creating an Estate Plan When You’re Single

Estate planning is much less complicated when you’re single. Instead of worrying about distributing assets fairly among your heirs, you simply have to figure out what you would like to happen to your assets after you pass away and what should happen if you become mentally incapacitated. Here are some things you should consider when creating your estate plan.

Choose an Executor

The first step in creating an estate plan is to decide who you want to manage after you’ve passed away. This person will follow your instructions to ensure your assets are appropriately distributed. Make sure this is a responsible person you can trust and that they are willing and able to take on this responsibility.

Establish a Power of Attorney

Estate planning addresses issues other than planning for one’s passing. If one cannot manage one’s regular affairs, they will need someone to manage things. You can get a power of attorney (POA) that will designate someone to make your medical (healthcare POA) and financial (durable POA) decisions for you.

This person should be someone who will advocate for you and keep your best interests at the forefront. You should be able to trust them and make sure they are willing to take on this responsibility.

Set Up a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is a document that spells out how your assets will be handled after you pass away. You create a living trust during your lifetime and place assets in it, which will be transferred to your chosen beneficiaries upon your death. Since it is a “revocable” trust, you can cancel or change its provisions at any time.

Draft a Will

Whether or not you choose not to set up a revocable living trust, you should set up a last will and testament. Your will distributes your assets according to your wishes and also alleviates expense and inconvenience of administering an intestate estate. You will designate an executor to settle your estate, pay your debts, and distribute your assets.

Determine if You’d Like to Support Any Charities

Indicate whether you’d like to support any charities in your estate planning. It can be easier if your beneficiary is a charitable organization in your will or trust. Setting this up while you’re still alive will maximize your tax deductions.

You can also set up a charitable trust fund with a specific amount to be distributed to the charity of your choice over a certain period. This will allow your charity to receive your donation without worrying about a significant tax bill.

Make Sure Your Pets are Taken Care Of

Pets are like family, so if you’re single and have a pet, it’s crucial to ensure they are taken care of if something happens to you. Choose someone who will take them and love and care for them how you want. You can also put money in a trust to continue to provide for them.

Turn to Brackin Law Firm for Your Estate Planning Needs

While it may not seem necessary for a single person with no children to have an estate plan, everyone should have one to protect their assets and their last wishes. By creating an estate plan tailored to your unique circumstances, you will have peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and your loved ones will be provided for according to your wishes.

Brackin Law Firm has been serving citizens of Baldwin County, Alabama since 1986. Whether you need a straightforward trust or an estate plan involving multifaceted structuring, valuations, lifetime gifting, and irrevocable trust strategies, we will provide the solutions you need to protect your family legacy.

Contact us today and let our team of experienced attorneys assist you with your estate planning needs.

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