Estate planning largely revolves around creating wills and passing assets on to family members. Children and spouses are given money, investments, property and more. This makes single people often think they don’t need to do any estate planning. After all, if you’ve never been married and you have no children, what would you put in your will?
The reality, though, is that estate planning is just as important — if not more so — for single people. If you don’t have a will, the state could end up just taking all of your assets when you pass away. Is that really what you want?
The state will try to find your closest relatives. For example, you may have a brother or sister who have a claim or your parents may still be alive. The real issues come about if your parents have passed away before you and there are no other relatives to choose from.
So, what should you do with your assets? The choice is up to you. You may have a close friend who you think deserves them. You may want to leave your money to a charity or a school. You may want to set up a trust fund that can be used for some cause that you care about.
No matter what you pick, just know that the state is not going to do any of this for you. It’s up to you to do the estate planning in advance so that your assets are distributed properly. If you haven’t done this yet, it’s a good idea to look into all of the necessary legal steps in New York.
Source: MarketWatch, “Estate planning for single people,” Douglas Rothermich, July 25, 2015