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Although you may not have children, you do have a spouse, partner, or other cherished individuals in your life. It's important to ensure that things go smoothly for them in case something happens to you.
You want to pass on the fruits of your hard work throughout your life, and do so in a way that conveys your love to your dear ones, especially when they need it the most.
Moreover, and perhaps even more significantly, you aim to decide who will inherit the results of your diligent efforts. Additionally, you want to make sure that your "chosen family" can take care of you and make healthcare choices on your behalf if you're unable to do so.
Your wealth isn't solely determined by the money in your bank account, but also by the happiness and well-being of the people you hold dear. Taking care of your estate planning is a reflection of your care, so your loved ones don't face legal issues or conflicts when you're unable to make decisions or after your passing.
When you're married and have kids, handling estate planning often seems pretty straightforward. You'd like your spouse to take charge of things if you can't, and you want to ensure your belongings go to your spouse when you pass away, and eventually to your children after your spouse is no longer here.
If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, our legal courts are bogged down with the effects of the complications tied to money and family matters. On top of that, there's a staggering $58 Billion (yes, billion with a 'B') worth of assets sitting in the State Departments of Unclaimed Property all across the United States.
There's a multitude of important questions that need answers to make sure your family avoids legal battles and disagreements in case you can't make decisions or pass away. Plus, there are specific steps to take to prevent your assets from ending up lost and forgotten in the State Department of Unclaimed Property, just because your family might overlook something in your absence.
And let's not forget, if you're in a situation where you're in a second (or third, or more) marriage and have kids from a previous marriage (often called a "blended family"), it's nearly a certainty that the people you care about will find themselves in conflicts if you don't plan ahead
You're the one in charge of making sure your kids are safe and well taken care of. If something happens to you when they're still young, it's important to have a plan in place for who will look after them and how.
In the best situation, your child's other parent would be the right person to take care of them if you're not around. But sometimes, that might not work out for various reasons.
Plus, even if it could work out, you might prefer that someone else handles the money you leave behind, rather than your former partner.
No matter what situation you're in, as a single parent (whether the other parent is involved or not), it's crucial to legally write down who you want to take care of your child and how you want them to be raised. You should also spell out how you want your money and possessions to be managed for your child, just in case something happens to you.
When you're not married but have a life partner, estate planning becomes incredibly crucial in many ways. And if you have children together, it becomes even more vital to make sure your estate planning is done right.
It's important to know that the law doesn't automatically protect your relationship if you're not married.
It's up to you to take steps to ensure that you can be by your partner's side in the hospital, and that your partner can do the same for you if either of you are hospitalized. If you don't take action, there's a real possibility that the person you care about deeply might be prevented from being there for you during an accident, making important healthcare choices on your behalf, deciding what you eat, or even deciding who can visit you.
And that's just concerning healthcare matters.
Without the safeguards of proper estate planning, your partner could potentially be kicked out of your home, excluded from your business, or denied access to your financial matters.
If you share children together, there's a risk that they might even be taken away from your partner's care.
When you're unmarried, estate planning isn't something you can skip. It's a matter of utmost importance, truly affecting the well-being and security of the people you care about the most.
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