Last Will & Testament for a Single Person

By A.L. Kennedy

People who are single can benefit from writing a will, whether they are divorced, widowed or have never married. A will allows you to leave your property to the people or charities you choose. It also allows you to choose who will be responsible for wrapping up your estate, distributing your property and taking care of any minor children you have.

People who are single can benefit from writing a will, whether they are divorced, widowed or have never married. A will allows you to leave your property to the people or charities you choose. It also allows you to choose who will be responsible for wrapping up your estate, distributing your property and taking care of any minor children you have.

Intestacy

The legal term for dying without a will is intestacy, or dying intestate. When a person dies intestate, the probate court distributes her property according to the laws of the state where she died. For single people, intestacy laws usually mean that their property goes to their children, if any, then to their parents or siblings. If none of these people are alive, the deceased person's property may go to the state, according to the American Bar Association. Writing a will is one way to ensure your property passes to the people you wish to have it, instead of those chosen by law.

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Providing for a Partner

A will can allow a single person to provide for a cherished partner, even if the two of you are not married, according to Lambda Legal. The law in most states allows you to leave your property to anyone you like, even if you are not related by blood or marriage, according to the American Bar Association. By creating a will, you can ensure that your partner will receive your property, including money, real estate and family heirlooms, when you die.

Providing for Children

If you are a single person with minor children, a will allows you to provide for them by setting aside money for their care, according to FindLaw. It also allows you to leave family heirlooms in their care. In addition, you may name a guardian in your will to take care of your children once you are gone. It is wise to ask the person you want to name as guardian whether he wants the job before you list him in your will. You may also want to name a contingent or backup guardian in case your first choice is unable or becomes unwilling to serve, according to FindLaw.

Choosing an Executor

Finally, your will allows you to choose the person who will carry out the instructions in your will when you die. This person, known as the executor or personal representative, works with the probate court to ensure that your last bills are paid and your property is given to the people you name in your will, according to the American Bar Association. Most people choose to name someone they trust and who has agreed to take on the job. If you die intestate or do not name an executor in your will, the probate court will name someone to serve as executor. This person may be a relative or a creditor, and may not be the person you would prefer.

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What Is Involved in Making a Will?

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How to Create a Will When You Have Kids

Few people like to contemplate their own demise and, as a result, fewer than half of American adults have valid wills, according to the American Bar Association. Dying without a will leaves decisions about inheritance to the state and -- for those with minor children -- forfeits your say in their future care. If your spouse does not survive you, a guardian raises your minor children. A will is your vehicle to name a trusted person to this important office and also to appoint a financial guardian to manage their assets until they come of age.

How to Make a Will by Yourself

If you do not have children or do not have many assets, you may wish to write your own will. Courts in most states will recognize a will you wrote yourself as long as your will meets all legal requirements. However, it is wise to consult an attorney for advice or to review your finished will. Also, if you have minor children, a great deal of assets or your estate is complicated in some way, you may wish to consult an attorney for help in writing your will.

Checklist for Creating a Last Will & Testament

While most states will not allow you to disinherit a spouse and certain legal requirements vary depending on where you live, for the most part the disposition of your property when you die is entirely up to you if you make a will. You should always check with an attorney, however, to make sure that your will complies with all the laws in your state.

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