Creating an estate plan is not just for married couples who want to ensure their spouse and/or children are cared for after their passing. Single people of all ages also need to consider having a comprehensive estate plan in place and periodically updated. Michigan singles are as concerned with their assets as anyone else. They will also benefit by considering who may have decision making rights regarding health and finances in the event of incapacitation.
A number of things may happen if an unmarried person passes away without provisions for his or her estate, all of which may not be what the person wanted. Without a will, the state will have the authority to distribute assets according to a statutory scheme, without direct input from family or those who were closest to the deceased. This could very well be in direct conflict to what the wishes of the deceased person may have been had he or she addressed these issues while alive.
The process of dividing assets when there is no will can get complicated and costly. Heirs may need to be tracked down, and that alone could take a great deal of time and effort. As important as a will is for the single Michigan resident, powers of attorney are vital too. Single people will want to designate a person who can be trusted to make health care decisions and manage finances should the need arise. Without a power of attorney and no clear direction, the courts may have to appoint someone to handle these responsibilities.
Every estate plan can be uniquely crafted to meet the needs of the person involved, whether he or she is married or single. Without a clear and comprehensive estate plan, even children of singles may find they have to spend time and money ensuring they get what their parent wanted for them. Applicable laws about dying without a will, the probate process and the role of powers of attorney are important considerations for any Michigan resident in order to protect assets and to create a plan for the benefit of loved ones.
Source: postcrescent.com, “Singles need estate planning too“, Carissa M. Giebel, Oct. 31, 2015