While we all should have plans for that time when we are unable to manage our own health care, finances or our estate after we die, singles need a financial back-up as much, if not, more than the rest of us.
When you have a partner or children, it’s an easier choice. Spouses or children are a built-in backup person for many of us. However, what if you’re unmarried and don’t have children or a close relative? In many instances, singles don’t have a backup plan. If you are young and single, then you typically aren’t thinking about a worst-case scenario at all.
Here are the types of things that this backup person would do for you. First is access your cash. Your backup would have access to money, in the event of an emergency. You'll require someone to make healthcare decisions if you're incapacitated. Therefore, this person would also be your health care agent. You would grant your agent a power of attorney for healthcare. You’ll also need someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. You would also grant power of attorney to your trusted agent for this function.
Finally, you'll need an executor of your will. What this means is that your backup will have access to some very sensitive information about you and your assets. Here’s a way to keep it safe and private, until it’s needed.
First, make a list of your assets, debts, and insurance policies, plus copies of your passport, and place them in a sealed envelope. Your financial package should include your passwords to bank accounts, credit cards, e-mails, and social media accounts.
Give the envelope to your backup person. A copy would also go to your estate planning attorney and your executor. Your health care agent would have a copy of your insurance policies. Update this package every year. The recipients of this envelope don't have to open it, but they should know where it is, in the case of an emergency.
Reference: fox5atlanta.com (June 14, 2018) “Estate, emergency planning for single people”