Many people die each year without a will. When the person is married, settling the estate is not as challenging as when a person dies single. A single person who dies without a will leaves behind many challenges for their family. Here are several things you should consider if you are single and do not yet have an estate plan.
You Need a Will
A will is a document you can create yourself or with a lawyer. Using a lawyer is a better option, as your lawyer will ensure that the will is a legally valid tool when you pass. A will allows you to tell your family how to handle your estate. It tells them your wishes for burial or cremation, and it can tell them other details about the funeral wishes you have. A will also names your beneficiaries.
Without a will, your family must determine how to handle your assets when you die. The state where you reside will have laws your family must follow, and these laws make it difficult to settle things. It is always smart to create a will to provide your family with the details they need, whether you are single or married. It is even more essential for a single person, though.
Include Details Your Family Must Know
When a single person dies, the family often has a lot of questions. For example, what is the passcode for the person's phone? Without the passcode, the family will never see what is on the phone, including pictures or details about the person's life. It is vital to tell someone the passcode on your phone, computer and other electronics.
It might even be smart to leave a list of your assets and debts, especially if they are not obvious. If you purchased a major item recently that is not even at your house yet, your family might not know it exists.
Leave Notes at Your Home
While you might not want to include your passcodes in your will, you should write them down somewhere at your home. For example, you can purchase a small notebook and leave it in your nightstand. In this book, you can write down important codes or login information. By doing this, your family will have fewer challenges as they aim to settle your estate.
If you have questions about estate planning, talk to a estate planning attorney to get started.