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Single people must plan their estates, too

In Nevada, most married couples know the importance of estate planning. But singles often get left out of discussions on this topic. But singles should, perhaps more than married individuals, consider what will happen to their estates in the event of their passing.

Nevada has intestate laws. This means that if you die without a will, the state takes control of your assets. It will be distributed to your immediate family according to strict laws. If you do not have an immediate family for whatever reason, the state will seize and utilize your assets. 

With this in mind, it is important to have a will and other estate planning tools in place. The will is the central core of your estate plan. It will name your heirs, make sure any minor children you have are taken care of and make sure the state will not have a say in who gets what. Of course, it will have to go through probate for verification and debt settlement before it is distributed.

It is also important to appoint someone with a durable power of attorney. In the event you become incapacitated, the appointee will make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. Therefore, it is vital you choose someone whom you trust literally with your life, such as a sibling, parent or trusted advisor.

Anyone, single or married, who does not have their estate planned out may want to consult with an attorney to ensure their heirs are taken care of in the event of their passing. 

Source: Market Watch, “Estate planning for single people,” Douglas Rothermich, July 25, 2015

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