Whether you were never married, divorced or your spouse died, a single retiree faces some unique estate planning issues that married couples do not always have to worry about. This is especially true if you live alone and come to rely on others for assistance. If you have recently retired or are thinking about retiring, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about your future and how you can develop an estate plan that fits your needs.
If you never had children, your inheritance plan will likely focus on family members, charities or close friends. Your state has laws that predetermine who will inherit your property, but you can make your own choices if you create a last will and testament or other estate planning device. Without a plan you may inadvertently leave an inheritance to someone who you would not want to receive it.
Many elderly Americans receive long-term care assistance from friends and families, especially from their spouses, children or even grandchildren. If you are single and do not have children, you have fewer options available to you if you should ever need such care. Developing a plan that incorporates Medicaid planning, long-term care insurance, or other strategies could be very important. Even if you don’t require such services now, having a plan in place that you can use when needed is essential.