Planning When Single
Thousand Oaks Estate Planning Law Firm
If you are single then you are in good company. According to a recent U.S. Census report, more than half of all adult Americans are single too. One thing single people have in common with their married counterparts is the need to create an estate plan.
Planning for Incapacity
A significant concern for planning when single is preparing for incapacity. Ensuring that you have someone in place to make decisions, in case you can’t, is critically important. Did you know the law requires every adult to make his or her own personal, financial and health care decisions? Who would make those decisions if you were legally incapacitated due to a serious illness or injury?
Unless you legally appoint a decision-maker in a power of attorney, a judge will select one for you in a process known as a conservatorship. A conservatorship is a lengthy and expensive process that makes your personal and financial information a matter of public record and is a major inconvenience for your loved ones.
In the absence of proper estate planning, your assets may be distributed after death according to California state probate laws that provide a one-size-fits-all plan for those who haven’t expressed their own intentions. It is especially important for unmarried individuals to document their wishes in a will or trust as a failure to do so could result in your assets passing to people you never intended to receive them. This is especially important for unmarried people who have a significant other in their life. Since a non-spouse partner does not have the same standing to inherit as a spouse, affirmative steps must be taken if you want a non-spouse partner to receive your assets.
Our legal team is here to help you with planning when single. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to learn how our lawyers can assist you in creating an estate plan that takes into account your unique circumstances and objectives.