Adults who have never been married and who do not have children often think that they do not need estate plans, especially if they are not wealthy. However, estate planning is for everyone, and even lifelong singles can benefit from having an estate plan.
A common misconception is that if you are a single adult with no children, you will not need an estate plan.
Recently, the NWI Times wrote about one such case in “Single childless adults need to plan too.”
As the article points out, if such a person passes away without an estate plan, his or her assets will go to the closest living relative. That means if either parent is still alive, then the parent will get everything.
For some this default approach might be acceptable, but others will want estate plans so their possessions can be inherited by friends or other family members.
Power of Attorney - Maryland
Estate planning is also not only about what happens to your possessions after you pass away. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is determining who handles your affairs if you become incapacitated and are unable to handle them yourself.
You need a general durable power of attorney in Maryland so someone can handle your financial affairs and a health care power of attorney in Maryland so someone can make any necessary health care decisions. Because you are an adult, your parents will not have an automatic right to help you and handle everything.
Thinking about death is not enjoyable, but just because you do not have a spouse or a child does not mean you do not need to think about it at least long enough to get an estate plan.
Reference: NWI Times (July 17, 2016) “Single childless adults need to plan too”