Planning Your Estate When You Have Never Been Married
Unmarried adults face several different variables when it comes to preparing an estate plan. Unlike individuals with spouses, those who have never been married may include extended family, friends or even mentors in a will.
As an increasing number of American adults are delaying marriage or not getting married at all, it’s becoming much more important to discuss how estate plans factor into the lives of these individuals.
Planning for now
If you are single, it might be tempting to postpone the estate planning process until you are married or have children later. However, legal professionals agree that it is always in your best interest to protect the assets you have now and adjust your plan in the future, as necessary. In fact, some attorneys believe that estate plans can be even more critical for unmarried adults, as there is no spouse to assume responsibility of decision making in their absence.
For those who have never been married, creating an estate plan allows your assets to be distributed in a meaningful way to charities and/or loved ones. You can also use a will to note who you would like to care for your pets in your absence. Without an established plan, the property of unmarried individuals will typically be shared with family members according to Florida law.
Outside of passing down property, creating an estate plan as early as possible protects your preferences related to end-of-life decisions. If you are an unmarried individual, you may appoint a financial or legal advisor to oversee the division of assets or handle certain financial matters if you are unable to do so. Your estate plan can also give authority to a healthcare power of attorney, who can make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated.
If you would like more information on how to draft a will, speak with an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.