Whether deciding not to marry or after a divorce or the death of a spouse, being single means relying on yourself for your estate planning. You must think of things differently when you don’t have a partner to help carry some responsibilities.
This may sound fancy and only for the wealthy, but having an estate plan is something everyone should have. An estate plan can consist of:
An estate plan ensures that all of these aspects work in conjunction with one another. Having everything in one place lets you know there are no inconsistencies and that nothing you need is left out.
Being a single woman means that you have to do things differently from men or married couples, and compiling your estate plan is no different. Here are 3 tips to help you prepare:
1 – Start Saving for Retirement Early
Getting in the habit of saving for retirement will help you throughout your life. Have your work automatically take out your 401(k) payments from your check each week. And make sure to set aside at least enough to get the total matching amount from your employer. If your company does not offer 401(k), you can start your own Roth IRA and have direct payments from your check.
2 – Review Insurance Policies and Will
If you are newly divorced or have recently lost your spouse, you must review your policies and beneficiaries. You may not want to leave your assets to your ex-spouse. We have also seen examples of our client having their beneficiary as a parent who passed away several years ago.
You should review your estate plan every 3-5 years to ensure the information is still as you want.
3 – Plan for Long Term Care
As you get older, you may not have a spouse to rely on to take care of you. You have to make arrangements for your care when you cannot do so on your own.
An advance healthcare directive (or living will) lets others know your medical wishes when you can’t make those decisions on your own any longer. Whether due to age or an accident, you always want to have a healthcare plan. Talk with your children or who will be taking care of you – make sure they understand the medical treatment you want.
An experienced estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best options to meet your specific needs. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago or Lombard, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.
We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.