Baby boomers without children, solo agers, make up 20 percent of the boomer population. Like other singles, this generation must consider what actions must be taken in the case of incapacitation or disablement. Like all individuals a living will, a durable power of attorney and a simple will are must-haves when it comes to planning for the future. It is common for solo agers and singles to put off establishing an estate plan because many people don’t want to plan for death or incapacitation. Without these documents, the court can appoint a guardian you do not know and did not choose yourself to make decisions on your behalf. A guardian appointed by the court may not have your best interests in mind or share the same values.
Many solo agers chose not to have children during their lifetime. For this reason, it is common for solo agers to designate other family members as his/her designated agent(s). However, is he/she is not close with their family, a friend can also be appointed. It is less common for solo agers to have friends that are distinctly younger than them. If they are similar in age, it might not be worth the solo ager’s time to name them as his/her agent.
Overall, this blog post highlights the need for everyone, regardless of age and social-economic circumstances, to develop and establish a clear estate plan. Many people confuse an estate plan as only necessary if they have children. This is not the case. An estate plan isn’t only about passing on your assets. It is also about how to navigate unpredictable circumstances and avoid stress, frustration and confusion. Check out our other blog posts to learn more about estate-planning basics, news and trends.