Discussions on estate planning often revolve around those who are married. As an unmarried individual, you may think that estate planning can wait. However, life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Having a will in place may be more crucial for you than you would expect.
Why should you prioritize your estate planning, even if you’re not married? Here’s why:
Preserve Your Independence: As an unmarried individual, you have the freedom to live life on your own terms. However, without a will, that freedom can quickly evaporate. Your assets, properties, and personal belongings could be subject to the laws of intestacy, meaning they may end up in the hands of distant relatives or individuals who do not align with your wishes, or even in the hands of the government. By creating a will, you retain control over your legacy, ensuring your assets are distributed according to your desires.
Protect Your Loved Ones: Just because you’re unmarried doesn’t mean you lack meaningful relationships. You may have dependents, beloved pets, or close friends who rely on your support. By having a will, you can appoint guardianship for minors, designate caregivers for your pets, and provide financial security for your loved ones. A will allows you to provide some final direction and care for the most important people (or animals) in your life.
Decide Your Legacy: Your values and passions define who you are. With a will, you have the power to leave a lasting impact on the causes you hold dear. Whether it’s a charitable organization, educational institution, or community project, your will can ensure that your legacy lives on, benefiting the causes that are close to your heart.
Avoid Unnecessary Conflicts: The absence of a will can lead to disputes and strained relationships among family members, friends, or even business partners. By clearly outlining your wishes in a legal document, you minimize the potential for conflicts, reducing stress and ensuring that your loved ones can focus on honoring your memory instead.
Lifetime Documents. Life is unpredictable, and there may be a time when you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. A Power of Attorney grants someone you trust the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf, while a Healthcare Directive allows you to outline your medical preferences and appoint someone to make healthcare decisions when you’re unable to do so. By planning ahead and executing a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive, you retain your autonomy, even when faced with unexpected circumstances.
Remember, your legacy matters, regardless of your marital status.
Estate planning as an unmarried individual provides some unique requirements. A lawyer specializing in estate planning can advise on the appropriate estate planning tools that best fit your circumstances.
Established 100 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and one of the largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at Quinlivan.com.