How Singles Can Address Estate, Financial and Emergency Planning

7.16.18Not having a spouse makes it more important for singles to plan to protect themselves from a legal and financial standpoint.

Everyone should have a plan in place for incapacity, affirms in a recent article, “Estate, emergency planning for single people.” This is especially true for singles. While married couples can usually rely on each other, or their adult children, in case of emergency, what happens to singles who don’t have family members? You need a backup plan and a backup person.

In many instances, singles don’t have a backup plan. If you are young and single, then you typically aren’t thinking about a worst-case scenario at all.

Here are the types of things that a backup person would do for you. First is access your cash. Your backup would have access to money, in the event of an emergency.

You'll require someone to make healthcare decisions, if you're incapacitated.  Therefore, this person would also be your healthcare agent. You would grant your agent a power of attorney for healthcare. You’ll also need someone to make financial decisions on your behalf, if you’re incapacitated. You would also grant power of attorney to your trusted agent for this function.

Finally, you'll need an executor of your will.

What this means is that your backup will have access to some very sensitive information about you and your assets. Here’s a way to keep it safe and private, until it’s needed.

First, make a list of your assets, debts, and insurance policies, plus copies of your passport, and place them in a sealed envelope. Your financial package should include your passwords to bank accounts, credit cards, e-mails, and social media accounts.

Give the envelope to your backup person. A copy would also go to your estate planning attorney and your executor. Your health care agent would have a copy of your insurance policies.

Make sure to review and update the envelope annually. Your backup person doesn’t have to open the envelope, but they need to put it in a safe place, where they can easily get to it, in the case of an emergency.

Reference: (June 14, 2018) “Estate, emergency planning for single people”

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