Many single people in Texas may feel as though they do not need estate plans since they do not have families of their own. However, estate planning is essential for both married and single individuals. In fact, it is almost even more important for single people than for those who are married.
The chief goal of putting together an estate plan is to ensure that one is taken care of if one becomes incapacitated. Single individuals often do not have other people listed on their bank accounts with them. In the same manner, they may not have plans for what happens if they have to remain in hospitals for extended periods of time, or they may not have loved ones who know where all of their significant documents are.
Some important documents to include in an estate plan for a single individual are the durable power of attorney and the health care proxy. With a durable power of attorney, a person can choose a party to handle his or her financial affairs if something were to happen to him or her. Without this document, friends and family would have to obtain a guardianship over the person through the court, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. A health care proxy similarly appoints a person to handle a person's medical decisions in the event that he or she become incapacitated.
People in Texas often prefer not to engage in estate planning simply because they do not want to deal with the topic of death or the unknown. However, the lack of a will means that a person's wishes at the end of his or her life may not be honored. Appropriate legal guidance may help people to engage in comprehensive estate planning that will give them peace of mind from knowing that their interests will be protected in the future.
Source: cohasset.wickedlocal.com, "PLANNING MATTERS: Singles still need an estate plan", Leanna Hamill, Feb. 19, 2016