Procrastination is very common when it comes to estate planning, especially among single people who don’t have any children. Those who are in this position often feel as though they don’t need to plan ahead because they don’t have to provide for anyone.
This may be the case, but that does not mean that estate planning is not relevant to you if you are a younger, single adult.
In New York, f you die without executing a last will or trust to express your final wishes, regardless of your marital and/or parental status, you are said to have died intestate. Under these circumstances the intestate succession laws of the state of New York would determine how your assets would be distributed.
The probate process is in place to supervise the estates of people who pass away. This is true if you have a will or if you pass away intestate. In the state of New York it is the Surrogate’s Court that is charged with the responsibility of supervising the administration of the estate.
The court would use these intestate succession rules to distribute your property.
Let’s say that you are a young adult who is not married. You don’t have any children, and your parents are alive. You do have an older brother, and you’re very close to your brother.
For the purposes of this hypothetical example we will assume that your parents ran off to pursue their own personal interests when you were a child. You lived with your grandparents, and they for the most part raised you along with your older brother. As an adult you have been estranged from your parents for years.
Under New York intestate succession laws your parents would inherit all of your property if you were to die intestate.
There is another estate planning concern to take into consideration if you are single. Even if you are relatively young, it is possible that you could be in a serious accident, or be the victim of a catastrophic illness. Incapacity could be the result.
Would you want to be kept alive through the use of artificial nutrition, ventilation and hydration if you were in a vegetative state and there was no hope of recovery? This question is at the root of a living will.
A living will is used to state your preferences regarding the utilization of these measures. If you don’t have a living will your closest relative or relatives would be forced to make this decision in your behalf.
Estate planning is a must whether you are single or married. If you are currently going through life without an estate plan, the intelligent first up would be to reach out to a licensed Long Island estate planning lawyer. Our firm offers free consultations, and we invite you to contact us to set up an appointment.