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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Do I need an estate plan if I am single?

If you are in your 20s or 30s and have yet to create an estate plan, you are far from alone. According to a survey from, 60 percent of all Americans lack a will or other basic estate plan. While it may be tempting to put off making an estate plan if you are young or single, doing so comes with considerable risks. Every year approximately 150,000 die from unintentional injuries, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our Staten Island, New York estate planning attorneys discuss why an estate plan is important for everyone below.

Protecting Your Assets

Chances are by the time you hit your 20s or 30s you likely have some assets. You may have purchased your first home, stashed some funds in a retirement account, and potentially invested in the market. No matter your exact financial situation, you will want to take steps to ensure that those you love receive your hard earned assets.

If you die without a will, known as interstate, New York law will require that your assets be distributed to your closest relatives. If you are married or have children, your assets would go to your spouse or children. For those that are single, your assets will likely go to your parents or siblings. Most of us want a say in who will receive our assets. By taking the time to create a will, no matter how simple, you can direct that your home or other assets go to whom you desire or even a favorite charity.

Protecting Yourself

None of us anticipate being critically injured, but hundreds of thousands of people find themselves in serious accidents each year. An estate plan involves much more than passing down your assets. Your estate plan will also put protections in place to ensure you are cared for if you are unable to make critical decisions on your own.

A durable power of attorney allows you to name an individual who will have the power to make health care and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated. This document is especially important to those who are single. Once you turn 18, your parents will no longer automatically have the right to make medical or financial decisions for you. As such, younger adults should act now to create an estate plan that will protect their person and funds no matter what the future holds. Contact us today.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.