Lisa Galvan Law, PLLC Blog

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why Singles Need Estate Plans

 The traditional nuclear family of the past has been in rapid decline. An estimated fifty percent of San Antonio’s population is now classified as single. Moreover typically delicate topics such as estate planning are often viewed as points of discussion for married couples looking to pass their assets down to children and grandchildren.

However, for the single individual, estate planning is central to ensuring one’s final requests are granted.

Who is the Heir?

For Texas singles who pass away without a valid will or trust, the laws of the state of Texas will determine who inherits their property. Without a proper estate plan, the final say as to how your assets are dispersed belongs to the State, often resulting in costly and unfavorable results. In rare cases in which no surviving family can be found, control of your assets is then given to the state.

For unmarried couples, irrespective of relationship length, proper planning is crucial to ensure a loved one is cared for after you are gone. Here, the importance of creating a will and/or a revocable living trust that appoints a trustee, will help ensure peace of mind that your assets are distributed how you wish after your death.

Planning For Incapacity and/or Death

If a single adult person becomes incapacitated during their lifetime, without having the proper planning in place, a relative or stranger may have to petition the Court to become appointed as your guardian. To avoid this costly process, delegating who has control over your estate including your finances and health is of utmost importance. At a minimum, one should have the following preparations in place: 

  •  While in good health and state of mind, a “living will” or advanced medical directive allows an individual to specifically state any medical treatment needs, should you become incapacitated and unable to recover. This initiative can also limit medical care received.
  • Powers of attorney, designating an agent to act for you should you become incapacitated.  A complete estate plan will contain powers of attorney for both financial and medical matters. It is important to bear in mind that a power of attorney ceases to be effective upon your death.
  • A person's will or a revocable living trust states that an appointed person of their choosing, shall act as the executor (or trustee) for settlement of your estate and dispersal of property upon your death. The will can ensure that assets pass to the appropriate beneficiary, including specific individuals or charities, but must pass through probate. A revocable living trust can help distribute one’s assets, and is often used to avoid probate, if funded properly. 
  • With bank accounts, life insurance policies, and retirement plans, working singles often have an opportunity to name beneficiaries directly. In the midst of life events such as the birth of children or divorce, keeping designated beneficiaries current is a must in order to safeguard the distribution of your hard earned assets.

Call an Experienced San Antonio Estate Planning Attorney

Admittedly, it can be difficult to think about the future of your estate. For single individuals, planning for incapacity or death can bring unique challenges. At Lisa Galvan Law, we can help give you the advice and planning services that are needed to ensure that your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries, per your wishes. 


Lisa Galvan Law, PLLC is located in San Antonio, Texas and serves the following surrounding counties: Bexar County, Medina County, Comal County, Wilson County, Atacosa County, and Kendall County.

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| Phone: (210) 820-2667

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