Estate plans benefit many people, including single people, and even those who have no close relatives. For example, you may like to leave your assets to your church or favorite charity instead of to a far-flung, near-stranger relative. A well-written will can guarantee this happens and that probate goes smoothly.
However, many single people do have children and other relatives they would like to leave assets to. Furthermore, they may be legally single on paper, but have been with the same person (or people) for years and want to ensure they are taken care of. Plus, with items such as advance directives, you get even more control of your life.
Consider advance directives
What are your wishes if you can no longer make healthcare decisions for yourself? By writing an advance directive or living will, you ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way you want. One word of caution: If you spend a lot of time in other states, it is a good idea to have an advance directive for every state you spend that time in. States do not always recognize directives drawn up in another state.
Help your heirs save
Leaving a person or entity your property or assets in a will may lead to some taxation issues. Probate, too, can divert money that would otherwise have gone to your heirs. Setting up trusts as part of estate planning may lead to greater overall cost savings. If you might die with some debts, trusts can also help shield some of your assets.
Remember to update
Not only could an estate plan greatly help if you are single, you should revisit it every once in a while, perhaps every three years or after major life changes. Perhaps one of your heirs has gotten married or divorced, and that factors into your preferences. Maybe a grandchild has been born. State laws also change, so there may be a more economical or tax-advantageous way to do things.