Statistics report that Florida had a 28.5 percent rate of single households in 2021. It’s unknown how many of those single people understand the importance of estate planning. However, estate planning isn’t just for married people. If you’re single, there are several reasons to have an estate plan. Two of the most important reasons are for healthcare and financial purposes.
Estate planning is about more than property and belongings. You could become unable to speak for yourself because of a medical condition. For example, you could have a stroke or go into a coma. You’re alive but unable to make any of your own healthcare decisions.
You can create a document that specifies who will speak on your behalf concerning medical issues. The person that you name in your healthcare power of attorney, healthcare proxy or healthcare declaration is the person who will communicate your healthcare wishes.
Without this representation, your healthcare provider might randomly approach a parent, child or family member with questions about how to handle your healthcare. Your healthcare provider might pick someone who knows nothing about your wishes or wants to do whatever they want.
Since you’re single, your significant other has no legal power over your healthcare. Even if you’ve been together for years, a significant other isn’t next of kin unless you’re legally married to the person. Naming a healthcare representative in your estate plan is the only way to ensure that person will manage your healthcare matters.
Financial power of attorney
If your health fails, you may become unable to handle your own financial business. This could occur because of a brief illness or a long-term illness. A power of attorney will have access to your assets in order to handle your financial matters. For example, this person can access your bank account to pay your bills.
It’s important to choose someone that you trust. Your power of attorney will have access to all of your assets, funds and belongings. They can do anything with your assets, such as sell them, give them away or use them for their own purposes.
Estate planning for a single person
Estate planning is just as important for a single person as it is for a married person. Without an estate plan, you won’t have any control over who handles your affairs if you’re unable to do so. Leaving this matter to chance could cause confusion and arguments between your family.