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I don’t have kids or a spouse — why do I need an estate plan?

Mar 23, 2019 | Estate Planning

Florida residents who are single, do not have any children and are approaching retirement might feel left out of most estate planning topics. Many of these discussions center around how to establish a legacy for adult children or how to make sure a surviving spouse is well cared for. This does not mean that a single person without children can skip out on creating an estate plan.

For an unmarried adult, having a living will and related health care power of attorney is especially important. A living will details a person’s wishes regarding medical care should the individual become incapacitated, including treatments that he or she is both comfortable with and those that doctors should instructed not to perform. A power of attorney gives another individual the ability to make those decisions. This combination is essential for unmarried individuals since there might not be an obvious person that doctors can turn to for medical decisions.

A living will is not a substitute for a will. A will should list a person’s assets as well as intended recipients, or heirs. In addition to a will, many people also choose to utilize revocable trusts. The creator of the crust can name him or herself as the primary beneficiary during the maker’s lifetime while also naming beneficiaries for the future. Beneficiaries could include a favorite charity, nieces, nephews and even beloved friends.

Creating an estate plan is important for all adults in Florida, not just those who are married or have children. This not only simplifies the process of dealing with an estate for any surviving family members, but it also ensures that a person’s medical and final wishes are respected. No time is too late to start estate planning, so even those who are near to or already in retirement should consider these essential benefits.