Estate planning is not just for people with significant wealth or large families. It can also be a valuable tool for those who have chosen a life of independence or do not have children. Apart from helping safeguard what you’ve worked so hard for, it can provide security and control over your future.
Below are some key benefits of estate planning:
Ensures your assets go to those who matter most
Having no children or any close relatives that you wish to leave your estate with is not a problem. With a trust or will, you can designate other people in your life as beneficiaries instead. These could be people or organizations that have influenced who you are today, such as:
- Close friends
- Business partners
Without a will in place, your estate may become subject to intestate succession. The state will take over the management and distribution of your assets, following a hierarchy that prioritizes your closest living relatives instead of your preferences.
Preserves your future health care choices
Incapacity can result from severe illness or injury and prevent you from making health care decisions for yourself. In case medical intervention is necessary, the absence of family members or health care proxy may complicate or delay your treatment. The decisions regarding your health care could fall into the hands of your attending physician, a court-appointed guardian or the hospital’s ethics committee.
Appointing a health care proxy as part of your estate planning may ensure that there’s someone ready to advocate for you and your medical preferences.
Assures the care of your loved ones
If you are unmarried but have children or have pets that may outlive you, certain estate planning tools may help ensure that they are under the protection of someone you trust. Additionally, estate planning may allow you to leave a portion of your estate for their care, offering you peace of mind.
Regardless of your status, estate planning is a powerful tool to protect yourself, as well as the people and possessions you hold dear. The process can be overwhelming at the start. If you need help, an estate planning attorney can help craft a comprehensive plan that keeps everything important to you in mind.