Planning For A Secure Future

Do single individuals need an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate, Estate Planning

A single person living in California may question the necessity of an estate plan or will, especially if they have no children and feel they have few assets to leave behind. This sentiment is common, as over 50% of people pass away without a will or estate plan due to perceiving their assets as insufficient to warrant one.

Estate planning for singles

Estate planning can be more complex for single individuals than for married couples, as they lack a partner to rely on for support with important life events. Single individuals must determine who will make financial decisions if they cannot and who will settle their affairs after their passing.

However, the reality is that estate planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of marital status. It’s a fundamental aspect of financial planning that everyone should engage in to ensure their wishes are carried out and their assets are protected.

Leave clear instructions

If a single person fails to make an estate plan, the state will determine the distribution of their possessions after their passing. This can cause unnecessary stress for surviving family members as they cope with the loss. In California, assets get distributed according to succession laws when a person dies. If no relative claims the property, the state receives the assets.

Long-term care

Most people will likely require some form of long-term care as they age. As part of estate planning, it’s important to create advance medical directives, durable power of attorneys and living wills. These documents are designed to outline your preferences for medical treatment if you become ill or injured to the point where you can no longer care for yourself. They also address end-of-life decisions. Creating a durable power of attorney or a living will can alleviate stress for friends and family members and ensure your wishes will be respected.

Estate planning is as much for your benefit as it is for those you leave behind. Ensuring that your financial assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your end-of-life preferences are clearly communicated can bring you peace of mind. Additionally, it provides peace of mind to your loved ones.