If you are single than you need to pay just as much attention to your estate plan as those that are married and I would argue probably a little more. A single person faces unique estate planning issues and the easiest way to demonstrate the issues faced by a single person is to contrast and compare what happens to a single person’s estate versus a married person’s estate. When a married person dies without a will, their assets will likely pass to their spouse. But a single persons assets will distribute along bloodlines. For example children if any would receive first than followed by parents, than siblings or other relatives. If a single person does not have living heirs than their assets may wind up under the control of the state. The only way to ensure your assets will end up with the people of your choosing is to create a will or a trust. Many people would prefer to give their assets to an organization that advocates for something that they are passionate about than give it to the state.
Estate Planning for Singles in Utah
Another big concern that single people have to confront is who would make medical decisions for them if they were incapacitated. Without proper planning, important medical decisions could fall to distant relatives or state-appointed strangers. You should determine who makes those decisions for you and the only way to do it is by signing a power of attorney, an advance health care directive, and a HIPAA authorization. Finally, you need to know what beneficiary designations you have signed and to whom you have left your assets. Accounts with beneficiary designations like retirement plans, often require account holders to designate a beneficiary. What’s important to remember is that your beneficiary designation will supersede your will or trust, so you have to update your beneficiary designations frequently and consistently to accurately reflect your wishes. Previously married or widowed singles should reevaluate all of their beneficiary designations to ensure accounts won’t be given to former spouses if that’s against their wishes.