Single people may need estate plans even more than married couples.
Estate planning is not just for married people as the Fond du Lac Reporter points out in its article “Easing the burden: Estate planning for singles” because things can get a lot more complicated for single people.
The law is set up generally to pass on assets to the surviving spouse if a married person passes away without an estate plan.
If a single person passes away without an estate plan, then there is a statutory scheme that determines who gets the deceased’s possessions. However, it will depend on which family members are still living and assets may not go to the people the single person would have wanted to have them.
For example, all of a single person’s assets might go to their parents when the deceased might have preferred to give them to a niece or nephew. Similarly, if a single person becomes incapacitated, then no one by default has the ability to handle his or her financial or medical affairs. It will be up to a court to determine who gets that responsibility.
An estate planning attorney can guide people who might need estate plans whether they are married or not.
Reference: Fond du Lac Reporter (June 24, 2016) “Easing the burden: Estate planning for singles”