Did you know that estate planning is often associated with families and married couples and our aging parents? If you are single, however, having a solid Florida estate plan is equally, if not more, important. Without a spouse or children to inherit or make decisions on your behalf in a crisis, establishing clear, legal directives ensures your wishes are honored in various circumstances. Whether you are out of town, incapacitated, or thinking about the future of your person, your assets, and even your pets, let us share a few essential tips you can use for protecting yourself through estate planning.

  1. Appoint a trusted decision maker. One of the most crucial aspects of Florida estate planning for single individuals is designating someone you trust to manage your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. When you work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, this can include:
  • Creating a durable power of attorney (DPOA). This legal document allows you to appoint an agent to handle your financial matters if you are incapacitated or unavailable, such as traveling abroad. Your agent can pay bills, manage investments, and ensure your financial obligations are met.
  • Make health care planning documents. Similarly, your advanced directives, or health care planning documents such as a living will, can empower someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself. This ensures that your health care preferences are respected, even in a crisis.

Choosing someone you trust implicitly is vital, as these roles come with significant responsibility, especially in times of crisis.

  1. Ensure there is someone to inherit from you. Without a default heir, such as a spouse or children, it is essential to specify how you want your assets distributed upon your death. Your state has a plan if you die intestate or, in other words, without a will, and your wishes may be different. If you do not have a last will and testament or a complete estate plan, state laws will determine who inherits your assets. Consider bequests to relatives, friends, or charitable organizations that are meaningful to you. This can also be an opportunity to leave a legacy through scholarships, donations to non-profits, or contributions to causes close to your heart.


  1. Consider a trust agreement.  A trust agreement can be a powerful tool in estate planning, offering privacy and avoiding probate. You can manage your assets in the trust while you are alive and specify how they should be distributed upon your death. This can simplify the transfer of your assets to your beneficiaries and ensure your estate is managed according to your wishes, even if you are not there to oversee it.


  1. Plan for your pets. For many singles, pets are cherished companions. You can work with your Florida estate planning attorney to ensure their future welfare with a pet trust or include provisions in your estate planning that specify a caregiver and allocate funds for your pet’s care. Detailing your wishes for your pet’s care, including daily routines, medical care, and even their preferred diet, can provide peace of mind that your furry friend will be well taken care of in your absence.


  1. Do not forget to regularly update your estate plan. Life changes; relationships evolve, assets grow or shrink, and your wishes may shift. When you regularly review and update your Florida estate plan, you can ensure it always reflects your current circumstances and desires. This is particularly important for singles, as significant others, friendships, and priorities can change over time.

Estate planning is a crucial step in protecting yourself and your legacy, especially when you are single. It ensures that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are taken care of according to your desires. Consulting with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney can provide personalized advice tailored to your unique situation, offering peace of mind that your future and the future of those you care about are secure.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.