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Elder Law and Estate Planning Blog - Lancaster, PA

Friday, July 5, 2013

Single? You still need an Estate Plan!

Many people think that if they are single, they don't need a will or other estate planning documents.  However, this idea is wrong!  Estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families.

Estate planning ensures that your property will go to the people you want to inherit it, in the way you want and when you want.  Without a will to let the state and your loved ones know your preferences, the state will decide who gets your property.  Most states leave your estate to your children or other living relatives if you have no children, but there is no guarantee.  If you have no living relatives, all of your property is given to the state, and not to the friends or charities you feel should get something.  Without a will, you have no way of directing where your property goes.

  Additionally, without a power of attorney, the state can decide who will make your healthcare and financial decisions if you become incapacitated.  The person you name as power of attorney, your agent, will be able to step in and act in your place in financial decisions and healthcare decisions should you become incapacitated.  By creating a power of attorney, you can name separate people as agents and decide their powers.  Unlike married individuals, unmarried partners and friends usually cannot make healthcare decisions without signed authorization.  Should you become incapacitated without one, no one can represent you unless the court appoints someone.  This process is timely and costly, and it does not give you the option of choosing.

Whether you are married or single, estate planning documents are key to ensuring your wishes are met when you cannot make them known.  To find out what estate planning documents you need, contact us today at (717) 560-4966 or questions@piersonelderlaw.com

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