“Upon my death, I really don't care what happens or who gets my money.”
A single man in his mid-40s with no real family may not understand why it's important for him to do some estate planning.
Hometown Life, in its recent article, “Estate planning not just important in death,” noted that he might be making an assumption that estate planning only deals with death. That's not true.
Estate planning now means not just what happens with your assets when you pass away, but it also concerns issues when you're alive.
Think about what you and your family would do, if you were in an accident and couldn't handle your financial affairs. In those situations, a court may decide to appoint an individual to manage your affairs. The odds are that the judge will appoint someone who doesn't know you. That means you have no idea what they'll do. It's not as easy as you'd think to regain your power once you're healthy again.
Who do you think is going to pay to have your affairs managed? That would be you.
These are a few good reasons why you want to have an estate plan. In the unlikely event you can't handle your affairs, you'll have someone you want assigned that task.
Another issue that concerns having an estate plan now, is medical decisions. You should have a medical durable power of attorney that lets you state in writing your wishes when it comes to medical care and also designates the person you want to make those decisions. If you don't appoint someone, the doctors and the hospital will make medical decisions. Those decisions may not be what you would have wanted. An estate plan lets you convey your wishes regarding a medical situation.
You can see that it's important to quit thinking of estate planning as only planning for death. It's a pretty confusing and complex world that's constantly changing. You need to protect yourself.
A great way to give yourself added security—regardless of whether you're single, divorced, married, or whatever—is to make certain you have an estate plan and the legal documents in place to protect yourself, whatever the circumstances.