Author Topic: Estate planning resources for single adult?  (Read 741 times)

Dr Kidstache

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Estate planning resources for single adult?
« on: January 11, 2019, 09:18:36 AM »
Can anybody make some recommendations for resources for estate planning for a single adult without really much family to leave anything to?
As my NW is growing, I think I need to get a better plan together and am looking for ideas. Currently, I've just got beneficiaries named on all my accounts (almost all of my NW is in investment accounts so not much probatable) and the beneficiaries are my parents. They're in their 70s. I have a sibling with young kids but we're not really close. And that's it for family.
Any books/websites that you can recommend just to start thinking about options?

Rob_bob

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 01:04:47 PM »
Just what are you thinking you might need/want to do differently?

Having beneficiaries named on accounts bypasses probate or even wills.  Do you have alternate/secondary beneficiaries named, you hopefully will outlive your parents.

Do you have any possessions or property that you want to go to specific people or to the estate?  That's when you would need a will.

I'm basically in the same place as you.  I went to a lawyer and had a will made.  I looked at some online options but they didn't seem to cover what I wanted in detail.  Plus you don't know what you don't know and each State is different and if a will isn't done correctly it makes a mess for the people left to deal with it.

Sibley

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 02:15:27 PM »
I have a will and trust, nothing complicated. Will directs that all assets & property go to the trust, and also directs who gets decision making ability for any pets I have (kept it nonspecific, since it could change). Trust directs what to do with all my assets & property, and includes provision for pet expenses.

Seperately, I have POA or whatever it's called for medical and finances. Unofficially, I have written up "guides" with what I intend, because the legal wording isn't conductive.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 09:22:23 AM »
@Sibley , how did you decide to go with a trust? I have a service dog and I honestly hadn't thought about planning for her.

I just recently revised my living will for health care directives and I'm in the process of revising a durable POA for finances.

As it is now, my assets will go to my parents if I die before them. It's unlikely, but I am disabled and have health care issues so possible. I had a scare a couple of weeks ago that lit a fire under my butt to start planning more earnestly. It's really simple to just have everything go to them but, in practice, it just means it'll all go to my brother. While that's not a problem per se, I feel like it doesn't really fit with my values. He should have a quite large inheritance from my parents so he wouldn't need anything from me. And we're not close so it wouldn't be an emotionally meaningful gift. If I live longer than my parents (statistically much more likely), my estate will be much larger and I won't have any other family but my brother to leave it to. My close friends don't need the money. Maybe I should be planning to leave my assets to charity? Can you name a charity as a beneficiary? Or do I need a trust and what are the different types?

I guess I'm just struggling with what the alternatives might be and would like to learn more in general. Any recommended resources or more examples of what you guys have done would be really helpful. Thanks!

Sibley

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 05:31:18 PM »
@Sibley , how did you decide to go with a trust? I have a service dog and I honestly hadn't thought about planning for her.

@Dr Kidstache  The trust is really for a couple of things. My parents are not the most financially astute, my dad has some form of dementia, and mom's health isn't the greatest. Money is going to be a problem for them. If by some chance I croak it, my sister has been designated the poor smuck who gets to deal with everything (in addition to being the poor smuck who has POA. I stuck her with everything). So, the trust will hold all my assets, my sister decides what happens to my cats, and she will disburse funds for the care of the cats plus incidentals for parents. It was structured so as not to cause issues with any public assistance for them. Any money left over from those things will be divided between charity and my sister. Best part is, I don't have to touch any of it unless there's about 3 specific changes in circumstances - it's setup to be flexible enough to accommodate most things unchanged.

Realistically, it won't have to be implemented. But better to plan and not need it than to not plan and need it.

As for why I remember the cats - my cats are literally the most important people in my life day to day.

Rob_bob

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 06:21:20 PM »
I have a will and trust, nothing complicated. Will directs that all assets & property go to the trust, and also directs who gets decision making ability for any pets I have (kept it nonspecific, since it could change). Trust directs what to do with all my assets & property, and includes provision for pet expenses.

Seperately, I have POA or whatever it's called for medical and finances. Unofficially, I have written up "guides" with what I intend, because the legal wording isn't conductive.

A trust is usually used to avoid probate.  I'm wondering why you have a will?  It seems like the will would have to go through probate to get the assets into the trust and then the assets would be dispersed.

My aunt had a will and it took about a year for everything to get dispersed.  My parents had a Revocable Living Trust and everything was done in very short order.

lhamo

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 07:35:50 PM »
Yes, you can leave some or all of your estate to charity.

My mom's will designated that her house (or the proceeds from the sale) would go to my brother, and after that each of the 3 kids would get 30% each of the remaining assets (my sister and I had already been gifted a separate property a couple of decades ago).  The remaining 10% went to the church my family attended for many years.  My sister was executor, there were no challenges made to the will, and the state was settled pretty painlessly/quickly.

Sibley

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Re: Estate planning resources for single adult?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2019, 12:40:30 PM »
I have a will and trust, nothing complicated. Will directs that all assets & property go to the trust, and also directs who gets decision making ability for any pets I have (kept it nonspecific, since it could change). Trust directs what to do with all my assets & property, and includes provision for pet expenses.

Seperately, I have POA or whatever it's called for medical and finances. Unofficially, I have written up "guides" with what I intend, because the legal wording isn't conductive.

A trust is usually used to avoid probate.  I'm wondering why you have a will?  It seems like the will would have to go through probate to get the assets into the trust and then the assets would be dispersed.

My aunt had a will and it took about a year for everything to get dispersed.  My parents had a Revocable Living Trust and everything was done in very short order.

I explained the basic setup above. My understanding is I mostly don't need the will, except for a couple of things where I do need it. I've got bene's setup for accounts so they go right to the trust, the house is in the trust already, and the will scoops up the rest and dumps the net into the trust. For now, it works well enough. I'm at very low risk of dying, but in case I do, things are setup so it won't be complete chaos, and the work is diverted away from the people who won't be able to cope and to the person who will.

There may also be quirks in my state, I don't know.