Estate plans are often thought of as something that’s only necessary if you’re wealthy or have a family. It’s imperative that all adults, even those who are single. Getting your estate plan together when you don’t have a spouse or children enables you to lay out who you want to get your assets.
If you don’t set up an estate plan, your assets are distributed based on Colorado intestate laws. Typically, this means that your parents would receive your assets. In some cases, siblings, nieces, nephews, or grandparents might be eligible to get some of your assets.
End-of-life plans can take some of the stress off your loved ones. You can let them know your wishes for medical care by establishing an advance directive. You can also choose someone to handle your finances and health care decisions. Providing someone with the power of attorney could help to save your loved ones a lot of hassle if you become incapacitated because the person named can take care of everything for you.
Making charitable contributions
Some single people want to use at least part of their estate to support their charitable causes. It’s usually best to do this through a trust if you plan to make the contributions after you pass away. The alternative is to give gifts to the charity before you pass away, but be sure the donations you’re making are handled in a way that minimizes the tax liability.
Remember your financial accounts
Financial accounts usually aren’t covered in the estate plan. Instead, you must designate someone to receive them when you pass away by filling out the payable-on-death designation at the financial institution. This doesn’t allow the person to access your accounts while you’re alive, but it enables them to have the contents when they present a death certificate and go through the established process with the financial institution.
Ensure your estate plan is set up so it reflects your wishes. Working with someone who understands your circumstances and knows the laws can make the process a little easier. Be sure you discuss your estate plans with anyone who needs to know, including the party you name as administrator.