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Important estate planning documents for unmarried Floridians

Just because someone is single doesn't mean that they can't benefit from good estate planning. Even a person who is not married may still possess considerable assets that must be properly dispersed. If an unmarried Floridian passes away without a proper estate plan, then his or her assets will be distributed according to Florida law. That means that assets may be arbitrarily divided among the testator's closest surviving relatives or absorbed by the state, if there are no living relatives. So here are a few important estate planning tools that single Floridians should consider.

A will is an essential estate planning document for someone who is not married. This is the primary tool that allows the testator to allocate their assets according to their wishes. This document can name an executor for the estate and can even name guardians for any minor children.

A durable power of attorney is another important estate planning tool for someone who is single. A POA appoints a trusted friend or relative to handle all of the testator's personal and financial affairs in the event that the testator is unable to make these decisions. And while a married person usually gives their spouse the POA, someone who is single may want to name a trusted family member or friend.

Someone who is single should also consider a health care power of attorney. This document is important since it identifies someone who will make medical care and treatment decision for the testator if he or she becomes incapacitated. This person does not have to be the executor of the testator's will, but it should be someone who will honor their healthcare wishes.

Other important estate planning tools for single people include a living will and a HIPAA release form. However, any single Florida resident who is considering an estate plan may want to speak with an estate planning attorney in order to determine what estate planning tools best suit them.

Source: onyourown.org, "Estate planning for young people in 9 steps", Accessed Nov. 30, 2015

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