Securing Your Legacy: Estate Planning for Singles

Navigating the complexities of estate planning can be particularly challenging for single parents and divorcees. However, with careful consideration and strategic planning, you can ensure the financial security of your loved ones and beneficiaries.

Divorced Individuals

If you are divorced, your ex-spouse may be eligible to receive benefits based on your record under certain conditions. These include a marriage lasting 10+ years, the ex-spouse being unmarried, and meeting age and benefit criteria.

In North Carolina, spouses may be responsible for each other’s medical bills and nursing home debt under the Doctrine of Necessaries. It is crucial to understand these obligations and take appropriate steps to protect yourself and your assets.

Ensure that your ex-spouse is no longer named as a beneficiary or account holder on your financial accounts, insurance policies, and other assets. Update your beneficiary designations to reflect your wishes.

Before entering a subsequent marriage, consult with legal professionals to understand the implications for your assets and obligations. Consider prenuptial agreements to protect your interests.

For Singles Without Children

Even those without direct descendants can benefit from comprehensive estate planning. Consider establishing powers of attorney, living wills, and and beneficiary designations to protect your interests and assets during your lifetime. Estate planning is not just about planning for your passing, its about planning for the rest of your life.

Singles With Children

Utilize trusts to designate guardians for your minor children, ensuring their care and financial support in the event of your passing.

Children born out of wedlock may not automatically inherit from their biological father in NC. It’s essential to establish paternity or legitimize children through legal processes to secure their inherited rights.

Adopted children have inheritance rights similar to biological children under North Carolina law. Understanding these rights is crucial for ensuring fair distribution of assets.

Consider obtaining life insurance with your minor children as beneficiaries to provide financial support. Additionally, explore options like 529 education savings plans to fund their educational expenses.

For children with disabilities, setting up a Special Needs Trust can ensure their ongoing care and support while preserving eligibility for government benefits.

Let’s Talk About Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is not just about passing on assets after death—it’s about protecting your loved ones and ensuring your wishes are honored. By taking proactive steps and seeking professional guidance, single parents and divorcees can secure their future and provide peace of mind for themselves and their families.

Remember, estate planning is a dynamic process that should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in your life circumstances and priorities. Take the first step today to safeguard your legacy and the well-being of those you cherish.

For personalized guidance and assistance with estate planning, consult with experienced legal and financial professionals who can tailor a plan to meet your specific needs and goals.

Take the First Step Today

Don’t wait until it’s too late. It is never too early to get your affairs in order. McIntyre Elder Law is offering FREE consultations to discuss your estate planning and elder law needs.

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Attorney Jane Dearwester

Attorney Jane Dearwester is based in our Hendersonville, NC office. She has over 20 years of experience practicing law in North Carolina. After graduating from Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, PA, Jane moved to North Carolina, and later joined our team in 2023.

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Greg McIntyre, JD, MBA

Meet Greg McIntyre

Greg McIntyre, founder of McIntyre Elder Law, is more than just an attorney. As a Navy Veteran, father to six kids, and a loving husband, he values family deeply. This drives his commitment to helping clients safeguard their futures and pass down legacies.

Greg has a passion to help people. Beyond just legal advice, he loves having conversations and strives to build a long-term relationship with every clients that comes through his door.

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Act now to secure your legacy and protect your loved ones.

At McIntyre Elder Law, we’re dedicated to assisting North Carolina families, seniors, and their loved ones as they plan for the future.

Whether you need to prepare for future long-term care, access Medicaid or nursing home benefits, or need help settling a loved one’s estate, we’re here to support you.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation to take the first steps towards safeguarding your lifestyle, your legacy, and your family’s wellbeing.

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