Estate planning is often seen as a way to dictate how assets will be distributed to one’s family upon death. This can sometimes be a pretty straightforward process, especially when assets are to be divided amongst a spouse and children. Since this is the prevailing view of those who think about estate planning, many individuals without spouse and/or children often determine that estate planning won’t benefit them. But these individuals are wrong.
To start, everyone should start an estate plan if for no other reason than to ensure that important financial and health care decisions will be made by a trusted person in the event of incapacitation. Therefore, Arizona residents should think about creating powers of attorney and health care proxies that meet their needs and put their minds at ease.
Second, estate planning can help avoid the probate process that could end up leaving one’s assets susceptible to claim by unsavory relatives. To avoid this outcome, individuals should think about utilizing trusts that allow them to avoid the probate process entirely. While this can help save time and money, it can also close off claims by those looking to poach estate assets. Trusts also allow an individual to place restrictions on assets to ensure they are used in accordance with the estate planner’s wishes.
These are just a few of the steps everyone should take to protect their estate, even if they don’t have a spouse or children. There are usually other matters that should be addressed, the exact steps are dictated by the circumstances at hand. The takeaway is that estate planning is for everyone and can be custom-tailored to meet their needs.