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 a few important things to think about when estate planning without a spouse:
Designating people to take care of financial and health matters
Married individuals often depend on their partner to handle the power of attorney responsibilities 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 implement a financial power of attorney and health care proxy. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the individuals responsible for these critical roles are fully aware of their wishes and priorities so they can adequately fulfill these obligations if required to do so.
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. This is because there may be no one to help shoulder expenses if they require more care than expected.
Having a will
Establishing 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 create a comprehensive estate plan, 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, single individuals can typically make 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 an Oregon estate planning attorney.