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Single Adults Have Different Estate Planning Concerns

The Unique Estate Planning Needs Of The Unmarried

An Arizona Estate Planning Attorney Provides the Details

Often, discussions about estate planning center around an assumption that the person looking to create the plan is married with children. But of course, that’s not always the case. Unmarried and childless individuals need guidance too when it comes to planning for their future.

As Forbes senior contributor Bob Carlson recently wrote, single people need to develop important estate planning documents that aren’t related to the disposition of assets (e.g., power of attorney, health care proxy).

When a single person can’t make decisions on their own then there won’t be somebody to make their decisions without these documents.

How To Choose the Right Person

For the power of attorney, choose somebody capable of taking care of your financial affairs if you’re no longer able to. Assuming that they are willing to make these decisions on your behalf, set up your finances so this person can follow your instructions and take over your decision-making for you when necessary.

When it comes to developing a health care proxy or other health care documents, such as an advance medical directive or a living will, designate somebody who will understand and follow your directions as they relate to your health care decisions instead of your financial decisions.

For many unmarried people, long-term care insurance is important. That's because there may not be anybody willing and able to assist with health care or to make health care decisions for them when that time comes.

Other Estate Planning Strategies To Consider

When someone dies in Arizona without a will—whether they’re married or single—the distribution of the property is regulated by the state. A valid last will and testament will help expedite the expensive and confusing probate process to ensure that your last wishes are honored. In many cases, an unmarried person will hold most of their property in a revocable living trust.

Single people can’t benefit from a marital deduction to lower the estate or gift tax. However, an unmarried person can avoid taxes on lifetime gifts through:

  • Unlimited exclusions for gifts of education and medical expenses
  • Annual gift tax exclusions
  • Individual lifetime estate and gift tax exemptions

For many single seniors, charitable giving is a significant component of their legacy. In addition, this approach can be used to create income tax savings. They can also generate income during their lifetime while decreasing the size of their estates, in addition to benefiting charities. A win-win-win-win.

An Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help You Plan for the Future

The unmarried population is on the rise, and single people face unique estate planning challenges. For instance, they may need to update their estate plans more often because their situations may change more frequently. That's why talking to an estate planning attorney who understands how to handle unique circumstances is so important.

Whether you need to write your last will and testament, set up a trust, or update existing estate planning documents, an experienced estate planning attorney from The Law Firm of Brown & Jensen can help. Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you create an estate plan to meet your needs and reach your long-term goals. Let us help you make sound decisions for your future that are specific to your situation.

Contact us today. We proudly serve clients in Mesa, Tucson, Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, Goodyear, Payson, and Show Low.

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