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Single and unmarried? No reason to neglect estate planning

If you are single and unmarried, is there any reason to do estate planning? Won't your assets be distributed among your family members? Why should you worry about it?

The truth is that estate planning can include much more than just creating a will. Even if you do not have a spouse or children to protect in your demise, what about protecting your own interests in the event you become incapacitated in some form? Life is unpredictable in a number of ways, and morbid as it may be to talk about, you could have a catastrophic accident with severe injuries tomorrow. If that were to occur, who would make life and death decisions for you? Is there someone who could take care of your pets, your bills or other important responsibilities while you are in the hospital and unable?

Doing estate planning can include things such as a health directive, also known as a living will. A living will allows you to certify what kind of medical treatment you will allow in the event you are unable to communicate to a health care provider. You can also assign these types of medical decisions to be made by another party with whom you trust.

When it comes to your assets or personal property, don't wait until you are married with children to begin your estate planning. Starting young and making changes as your life evolves can be a journey in itself. For instance, one young man decided to begin his estate planning when his career began to blossom. He was 33 and still single. He had just bought a technical consulting business and thought it was a good time to get his personal matters in order. With no children to provide for, he divided his assets between his parents and a sibling. Since his relatives lived across the country, he named close friends and advisers as powers of attorney over medical decisions and more personal matters. Years later, still unmarried, he felt the need to change the powers of attorney to family members. The once close friends were no longer so close.

There are wills and different kinds of trusts that can be set up to suit your ever-changing life. Your estate planning attorney can provide options and advice for protecting yourself and securing your property to the heirs you choose.

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