If a person is not married or does not have children, he or she may believe that it is not important to create an estate plan. However, there are certain documents that can be especially helpful for them.
Power of Attorney
He or she may want to consider creating a power of attorney for finances, which allows another person to make financial decisions if he or she is unable to do so. It’s important to choose a trusted person who can manage these affairs, who understands the person’s wishes and will carry them out. The designated person will need to know where to find important financial documents and have a copy of the power of attorney.
He or she can also create a power of attorney for healthcare, which allows another person to make healthcare decisions on his or her behalf and may want to designate certain people who could visit him or her in the hospital. Some facilities may otherwise only allow family members to visit.
If a person passes away without a will or trust, his or her property may be distributed between his or her parents, siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews. It’s important to plan for who will inherit their assets, especially if he or she does not want those family members to be beneficiaries.
Instead, he or she may choose a close friend or a charity to receive the estate assets, for example. Those designations will need to be specified in an estate plan.
An experienced attorney can create an estate plan specifically structured to his or her needs and circumstances.