Michigan Estate Planning For Singles

Are you single, divorced or widowed?

Do you have an estate plan?

About one-half of American adults are single. However, many of those individuals don’t have an estate plan. Planning for death or long-term care is one of the last things on the minds of young adults. Even single adults who are older don’t think much about estate planning. Many single people simply don’t think about estate planning because they are busy living life to the fullest right now. While there is nothing wrong with living in the moment, estate planning is an essential step that all adults must take to protect themselves, their family, and their assets.

Because single adults face unique estate planning issues, they need to seek the advice of an experienced Brighton estate planning attorney. Our attorneys have extensive experience advising singles on the unique issues they face regarding their estate plan. Call 888-390-4360 to learn more about estate planning for singles.

Common Issues Single Adults Must Consider When Developing an Estate Plan

Don’t assume you can skip estate planning because you don’t have children or substantial assets. You must pay as much attention to your estate plan as a married person does to his or her plan. As a single person, you face several complex issues that a married person doesn’t face when you don’t have an estate plan.

Responsible Person

Many people believe that an estate plan only applies when they die. However, an estate plan is much more than a will. An estate plan also provides for your incapacitation.

If you are unable to make medical or financial decisions due to an accident or illness, you want someone you trust to make those decisions. For a married person, the spouse makes decisions regarding healthcare and finances in the event his or her spouse become incapacitated. However, for a single person without an estate plan, the matter is a bit more difficult. Important financial and healthcare decisions could be made by a distant relative or a relative that won’t take your wishes into consideration. Remember, at this point, you are unable to speak for yourself.

You can take steps to ensure your wishes are carried out even when you are incapacitated by choosing who will speak for you. You can also choose whether you want to be placed on life support. By including a power of attorney, health care directive, and other estate documents in your estate plan, you ensure that someone who knows your wishes and will respect those wishes is in charge of making decisions when you cannot make those decisions for yourself.

Heirs and Beneficiaries

Without an estate plan, the state determines who receives your property when you die. Michigan’s intestate laws are complex and can result in someone receiving your property that you wouldn’t want as an heir. Furthermore, friends and charities aren’t considered heirs under Michigan’s intestate laws. Therefore, if you want to leave some of your assets to a close friend or a charity, you can’t do so without a valid will.

Furthermore, if you don’t have any heirs recognized by law, your property will go to the state. Even if a friend or charity has a letter or other evidence that you intended to leave your property to them, the courts won’t acknowledge the “evidence” because it is not a valid, legal estate document.

By investing a few hours of your time to consult with a Brighton estate planning attorney, you can avoid your property being transferred to the state or to a person who the state determines should receive your property simply because he or she is a blood relative. You should have a say in what happens to your property after your death.  State lawmakers shouldn’t be the ones making these decisions for you. The only way you can prevent the state from taking over your estate when you die is to have a comprehensive estate plan in place before your death.

Personal Decisions Should Remain Personal

Appointing someone to make decisions for you and deciding who should inherit your property is a deeply personal decision. These matters are only two of the challenges single adults face when planning for their death or incapacitation. Failing to have an estate plan complicates matters and may result in an outcome that is completely different from what you intended.

Also, failing to work with an experienced estate planning attorney may result in undesirable outcomes. The Certified Elder Law Attorney of The Elder Care Firm has the experience, knowledge, and training to provide you with the advice and direction you need when developing an estate plan. Our firm has offices in Brighton, Livonia, Novi and Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Trenton to better serve our clients in Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties.

Contact our office by calling 888-390-4360 or use our online contact form to request more information or schedule an appointment to discuss your needs for an estate plan.

Castle Wealth Group Legal in Media

Send Us a Message