VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Why estate planning isn't just for married parents

Thanks to evolving societal trends, young people no longer experience quite as much pressure to settle down as soon as possible. Indeed, many enjoy the freedom and other benefits afforded by single living so much that they make the conscious decision to put a walk down the aisle very low on their list of priorities.

While this is certainly understandable, there is at least one item that experts encourage these single people not to rank too low or omit altogether from their list of priorities: estate planning.

Indeed, they encourage young people to make it number one on their list, supplanting everything from taking a trip around the world and competing in a local marathon to picking up the fine art of home brewing or writing a novel.

Why then should these single -- and otherwise young -- people even consider executing an estate plan?

Experts indicate that the failure to execute an estate plan will mean that everything they leave behind will not necessarily go to family, friends and/or charity. Indeed, a sizeable portion -- or potentially all of it -- could end up going to the government.

Outside of enabling single people to ensure that their wishes concerning their money and possessions are honored, an estate plan can also help them ensure that the necessary instructions and/or support structure is in place should the unexpected happen.

Specifically, experts advise single people in their 30s and 40s to consider executing the following as a complement to any will or trust:

  • Living will: Establishes the type of medical care that you either do -- or do not want -- should you become incapacitated.
  • Health care surrogate designation: Appoints a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

What the forgoing should serve to highlight is that single people interested in seeing their assets distributed in a certain way, medical wishes followed, and loved ones spared the difficulty of legal proceedings should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about estate planning.

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