29 May 2017

5 Items That Singles Need for Their Estate Planning

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A watershed demographic event occurred in the past few years, although without much notice: For the first time in U.S. history, there are more people who are single than married -- 124.6 million singles (among 248.2 million people 16 and older) compared with 123.6 million who are married as of last year. Financially, singletons have their own challenges. Take estate planning. The express purpose of estate planning is to make things as easy, as inexpensive and as simple as required for loved ones, friends and associates left behind. Every situation, every life is unique -- and some of us need more than others when it comes to estate planning.      

 
Disability and long-term care insurance becomes more important to singles because "there is no spouse or partner to rely on for help with covering expenses in case of incapacity and inability to work," says Shelley Cabangon, a senior wealth planner at PNC Wealth Management in Palm Beach, Florida.  
 
Someone to Plan for You  
Married people also have a spouse who can make medical decisions on their behalf, but single people must plan for medical contingencies, says Karen Lee, an accredited estate planner with Karen Lee & Associates in Atlanta. Lee also says singles need to consider who will inherit their assets if and when they die -- otherwise the laws of the state will prevail -- which makes a living will with advance directives a good idea.  
 
Jeffrey Carbone, co-founder of Cornerstone Financial Partners, a North Carolina wealth management firm, lists and comments on five key documents singles needs to have for estate planning purposes:  

 

  • Power of attorney. "That's very important, especially for a single person, as it allows for someone to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so. You want to have someone you trust."
  • Health care power of attorney. "This allows you to have someone make health care decisions if you are unable to."
  • Revocable trust. "A revocable trust is a private document to pass assets on."
  • Living will. "This is a document that has your health care wishes known."
  • Will. "A will is a public record to pass along and carry out your intent."

 

Click here to access the full article on Daily Finance.

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