Estate planning is not just for couples with or without children. Single or unmarried people need estate planning too, of course. Their situations are not always necessarily different from married persons
except that most single people own almost all of their assets in their own individual names and other assets, such as life insurance or retirement assets, will be distributed upon death in accordance to their beneficiary designations.

Just as with married couples, how the assets are owned/titled and how the beneficiary designations are prepared will directly affect who gets what and how. But it is so important for single persons to have an estate plan in place because they don’t necessarily have anyone like a spouse who can take over the affairs. Single persons need to really think about who can manage their affairs now and after death and consider familiarizing those people now before it’s too late. When creating your estate plan, consider who you trust with your finances and create a “team” of a couple trusted friends or family members. Get them involved now because, for example, if you end up in the hospital with an emergency, you will want someone to know where your documents are in your house. Or if you have a safe deposit at a bank, for example, make sure you share that information with your trusted friends or family members now so they know where it is.

If you die without a will, Michigan’s intestacy laws will determine how your assets will be distributed. Who will be able to advocate on your behalf? How will anyone know what your intents and wishes are? A spouse will normally be able to do that, but without a spouse, it’s almost even more important to have an estate plan now to ensure your wishes are carried out.

 

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