If you are unmarried and do not have children, you may be like quite a number of similarly situated people and have done little or nothing in the way of estate planning. This particularly may be the case if you are a younger adult.
The reality is that an adult is never too young to start thinking about developing an appropriate estate plan. In addition, even a single person has very real needs when it comes to estate planning. In other words, estate planning is not just for wealthy, older, married people with children.
Death without an Estate Plan
One of the key aspects of estate planning is ensuring that your last wishes are carried out. This primarily means that property and possessions end up in the hands of intended loved ones. In the absence of a will, there is a real possibility in many cases that this will not happen.
If a single person elects to forgo estate planning, the laws of Pennsylvania dictate who gets his or her property upon his or her death. A person’s actual desires become irrelevant, because they have not been appropriately set forth in a will or other type of legal instrument (like a trust agreement).
Estate Planning Focuses on the Here and Now
Some younger single Pennsylvanians tend to avoid estate planning because they don’t think it effects them today. They are focused on the here and now and think estate planning is something for older folks, something to be taken up at a later date.
The reality is that the one guarantee in life is that no one knows when death will come. Estate planning is focused on what would happen if you die in the immediate future. An estate plan is updated with regularity to keep it current.
Comprehensive Financial Planning
A single person, particularly a young single person, should not put off comprehensive financial planning. This includes planning for retirement. But, it also must include proper estate planning.
Financial experts routinely report that single Pennsylvanians, particularly younger ones, simply are not taking comprehensive financial planning seriously. A single Pennsylvanian is best served by having a comprehensive financial checkup that includes a discussion of retirement planning and consultation with an estate attorney.