Often, estate planning advice seems directed at individuals who are married with children. However, the reality is that many Oregon residents preparing estate plans are unmarried. Single people taking on estate planning have unique considerations and challenges. Here are the few important things to think about when estate planning without a spouse:
- Designating people to take care of financial and health matters: Couples often depend on their partner to be a power of attorney should their health falter to the extent that they can’t handle their own affairs. Individuals without a partner need to take special care to name a financial power of attorney and health care proxy. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that these individuals are fully aware of one’s wishes and priorities so they can fulfill these obligations well should the situation require it.
- Contingency plans for long-term care expenses: Single and partnered individuals can both benefit from long term care insurance or another savings plan related to long term care expenses. However, single individuals may find this even more critical to consider, as there may be no one to help shoulder expenses if they require more care than expected.
- A will: Having a will is important for anyone. Single people, especially those without children, should make this a particular priority. The process of finding and designating next of kin when there are no spouses or children in the mix can be time consuming, expensive, and ultimately can end with assets not being designated the way one would have preferred.
Although it may sound like it is more challenging for unmarried individuals to take on estate planning, there are some upsides for single people taking on this challenge. While married people often have to negotiate their preferences for what happens to their assets after they pass away and may face conflict on issues such as who should be the executor, single individuals often can make very individualized plans that reflect their exact desires. The key is to take the initiative to move forward with planning so one has the security that everything is in place. To get started, individuals can contact and Oregon estate planning attorney.