Nobody wants to think about it. Everyone dreads it. But, financially it’s a very important and logically sound decision. We are talking about your estate plan. When you are young and single, an estate plan is the last thing you are thinking about. But, our team of Tampa lawyers want to make sure you are planning head. Even if you are older and single, you should have an estate plan in place. This will save headaches for any survivors. Below are some reasons why our Tampa lawyers believe it’s important for you to have an estate plan.
When someone dies without a will, it’s referred to as “dying intestate.” This means that their assets are distributed based on the intestacy laws of the state. Generally speaking, if there are no surviving relatives, the state then receives the assets. Another general rule is that surviving parents and siblings inherit equal shares. Marital status also plays a factor in who inherits your assets. Our Tampa business lawyers can help you avoid your assets being divided in a way that is against your wishes.
Wills and Trusts Tampa
It is important to make sure your final wishes are carried out. It’s also important to look closely at your estate plan if you are a single person. There are three areas in estate planning where it differs between single people and married couples. Also be aware that estate planning law differs by state.
- Beneficiaries: Make sure your beneficiaries list is up to date within your will. Beneficiaries named in your life insurance inherit those benefits regardless of what your will states.
- Estate taxes: Married couples can leave property to their spouses without paying an estate tax because they own it jointly. A single person might want to look at setting up a trust to avoid a hefty estate tax since they are more vulnerable.
- Medical power of attorney: It is important to designate someone that you trust with the responsibility for making medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to.
A living will states your wishes for your end-of-life medical care. This is when you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself. As mentioned before, choose someone you trust to make decisions for you and to carry out your wishes. Not having a living will leaves the decisions up to doctors and family members to make; decisions that may go against your wishes. They can also create hassles and disputes.
A benefit of setting up a living trust is that it avoids probate. Your will goes through probate, which is the court proceedings that distribute your wishes. A living trust bypasses this and distributes your assets faster. This is because your successor trustee (trust representative) transfers your assets to your beneficiaries after your death.
Estate planning for a single person can be more complicated than for married couples. There are things to take in account that may not occur to you. It’s important to consult with a lawyer with any questions you have about estate planning. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more information.