Estate planning is a difficult and emotionally taxing process for anyone in California. But single individuals might have a harder time starting the process.
This is partly because it can be hard to start a conversation about estate planning without someone else in your life. But it’s also because singles have more to think about and arrange regarding their end-of-life care and beneficiary information.
How to get started
You might want to start talking about estate planning with other individuals in your life, such as your family members or a close friend. Having someone else to talk about this with can help ease the burden and also keep you accountable.
This person could also act as your trustee or executor should you pass before them. This would involve a lengthy conversation to ensure that the person could handle the task. Either way, it’s worth picking this person early on.
List everything out and start looking at tools
The first thing you’ll want to do is make a list of your debts, accounts and any assets of notable mention. After you know the size of your estate and your unique assets, you can start looking at different estate planning tools.
Your estate plan at a minimum should include a last will and testament as well as a person who will act as your financial power of attorney. You’ll also want to consider assigning a healthcare power of attorney to make decisions in relation to your health as you age.
Plan for long-term care
As a single person, it’s a good idea to have money set aside for your end-of-life care. This could be money for a nursing home or home healthcare aid. It also may be a good idea to construct a living will that provides instructions for your loved ones should you be unable to make your own decisions. The living will should address healthcare directives and other things as necessary.