If you are single, then you are in the majority. According to the most recent U.S. Census, over half of all adult Americans are single. Whether you just turned 18 or are 118, one thing you share is the need for essential estate planning. A planning challenge may be that the heirs of your choice may be non-traditional and go beyond your family and your tax options may be more limited.
Learn more about estate planning for singles.
For Married Couples
Marriage comes with new rights and responsibilities. If you already had an estate plan created when you were single, then you must bring your estate plan up-to-date to reflect your spouse/partner. This could include a trust, and consideration of tax consequences. There are special inheritance plans to consider to best provide for your surviving spouse.
Learn more about married couples planning.
For Minor Children
If you have a minor children or children, you know that they are your most vulnerable treasures. So what arrangements have you made for their care should something happen to you? Your planning documents should appoint a guardian for your minor children, including a possible trust to handle the assets meant for your children while they are minors. This is the core issue for estate planning at this stage of your life.
Learn more about planning for minor children.
For Blended Families
Whether due to the death of a spouse or through divorce, your remarriage results in a new “blended family.” Blended families now outnumber traditional nuclear families, and based on current statistics and trends, that number is likely to grow. Your planning at this stage must be sensitive to the possible different needs of all family members.
Learn more about planning for blended families.
During Peak Earning Years
Are you between age 40 and 55? If so, then research shows you are in your peak earning years, and that is a very good thing. Estate planning is even more essential, as these earnings need to stretch through your retirement years.
Learn more about planning in your peak earning years.
Life is full of changes, and as you near retirement you must learn to adjust to a life no longer focused on work or running your business, and turn to your personal interests, which could include family, travel, or even a new career. This is a new adventure, and good planning can make a successful transition.
Learn more about planning for nearing retirement.
We pass through many phases in our lives. In the later years especially, filled with many changes, you may need to appoint agents for your decision-making, such as a surrogate to represent you in your affairs which previously was your spouse. Federal healthcare privacy law will not allow access to your medical records to be disclosed without written authority. Therefore, it can be vital for a newly single person to have a new appointed representative.
Learn more about how to approach planning when single again.
After Retirement / Legacy
Just a moment ago you were nearing retirement. Now you are in your golden years, and how did they get here so quickly? It is vital to prepare in advance for this day. Your inheritance strategies need to address preserving your income for your lifetime, as well as the assets you worked so hard to gain for your heirs.
Learn more about planning for your retirement/legacy.