People tend to take estate planning more seriously when they have a number of loved ones depending on them. This may be human nature, but estate planning is important for single people as well as married individuals and those with children. If you do not have an estate plan in place you will die intestate, and this can yield some negative results.
Condition of Intestacy
If you die without executing the appropriate estate planning documents as a single person the condition of intestacy will exist. Your resources will be distributed by the probate court under the intestate succession laws of the state of Indiana.
Each state has slightly different laws. In Indiana your descendents would inherit all probate property if you had surviving descendents and no spouse. If your parents were still alive but you were single and you had no descendents, your parents would inherit everything.
If your parents were not alive and you died single with no living descendents, your siblings would inherit everything if you did in fact have living siblings.
There are those who pass away intestate without leaving behind any blood relatives at all. If you were in this situation, the state would absorb your property under escheat laws.
Let’s look back at the question posed in the title of this post. What happens if you are single when you die? The answer is that it is entirely up to you.
If you do nothing, you will make a decision of sorts. You would be leaving everything in the hands of the state. The state of Indiana would distribute your resources under intestate succession laws.
On the other hand, you have the ability to take action to avoid intestacy. You can determine exactly what happens after you pass away by executing an estate plan.
There is no reason to go through life without planning ahead for something that is absolutely inevitable. This is true if you are married, and it is also true if you are single.
There are responsibilities that go along with adulthood. You must take care of certain matters, and estate planning is one of them. Though the task can seem daunting, it may be simpler than you think.
The first step is to arrange for a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will gain an understanding of your situation, and he or she will give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
Your attorney will explain your options to you and make recommendations based on your unique situation. Ultimately, you can create an estate plan that perfectly reflects your wishes. Nothing will be left to chance, and you can go forward with peace of mind.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.