Benefits of having an estate plan

Single and have no dependents? You still need an estate plan. Even if you’re single with very few assets, you want to be sure those assets go where you want when you die. Here’s some things you can do with an estate plan.

Name beneficiaries
A will lets you specify who will receive your assets — any of them — when you die. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the state’s probate laws, which may not be what you want!

Name an administrator of your will
A will also lets you name an administrator to handle your final affairs.  This person should be someone you trust and who is willing and able to do things like file your final bills and income taxes and distribute your assets as you wish.

Give someone “power”
If you’ve ever known someone who became incapacitated from an illness, injury or accident, you may know about the importance of powers of attorney for healthcare and for finances. The healthcare power of attorney gives legal authority to a family member or friend to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacitation. Similarly, a power of attorney for financial matters allows a family member or friend to act on your behalf to conduct financial activities when you cannot. Protect yourself by putting your personal affairs in the hands of someone you trust.

You’ll also want to consider getting a living will, which gives instructions in the event that you have a terminal illness or become incapable of communicating your wishes. Decisions covered include when to maintain life support, when to turn it off, and when not to resuscitate you. Again, do not leave this decision to someone who may not agree with your wishes. Let everyone know in writing what type of life support care you want.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
Contact an estate planning attorney for additional guidance.