Estate Planning in Arizona For Unmarried Individuals

Perhaps more so than any other group, people who are not married neglect estate planning. For some, it may be that having no children or spouse to look after keeps them from planning. For others, it may be the belief that they do not have enough in savings to bother. Regardless of their reason, unmarried individuals that fail to prepare a thoughtful estate plan can encounter serious problems.

When accident or disability befalls somebody who is married, the court generally appoints that person’s spouse to make his or her important medical and financial decisions. When there is no spouse, however, and the person has not left any direction, courts are left to make this appointment based on statutory presumptions about the person’s family relationships. And, it is often the case that the person to whom the court gives this authority is not the person best suited for the job. As such, an important part of estate planning for single individuals is designating somebody who can handle their affairs in the event they become incapacitated.

Single people who pass away before making any type of plans ultimately have no say in how their assets will be distributed, and risk having their property transferred in a manner contrary to their wishes. And, for this reason, it is important for unmarried people to speak with an Arizona estate planning lawyer about drafting a will. There are certain types of property, however, that can be transferred upon a person’s death even without a will. For instance, designating accounts as payable on death or naming a beneficiary on insurance policies allows people to control where these types of assets go. Further, property designated in such a manner transfers to beneficiaries without regard to Arizona probate law. Making these types of plans with the assistance of an Arizona estate planning attorney can give unmarried people a peace of mind that their assets will be properly divided and distributed after they are gone.

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