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Q.Does a single person with very few assets, no home, need a will?

A.if you are in your 20s or 30s, single, and you don't own a home or a vehicle, you may not need a will, but it's actually more important for a single person to have the proper documents in place than a married couple. Every single person, wealthy or not, should at the very least have: (1) a durable financial power of attorney; (2) advanced heath care directive (a.k.a. health proxy, living will); and (3) P.O.D. checking and savings accounts.

A durable financial power of attorney enables you to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you (e.g. pay bills, deposit checks, etc..) in the event you become incompetent, or unable to do so for yourself. The durable financial power of attorney can be drafted to grant the appointed person full control to manage your financial affairs, or can be limited to just paying bills and depositing checks. If you don't have a durable power of attorney either your relatives, or close friends, would have to pay an attorney and go to court to obtain a guardianship over you.

A living will (a.k.a. health proxy, a.k.a. advanced health care directive), is like a financial power of attorney but for health care. If you are single, it is all the more important for you to have a living will so someone you trust can make health related decisions on your behalf in the event you are unconscious, or incompetent as determined by your treating physicians.

Paid on death accounts enable the owner to name one or more beneficiaries to the account. If you have an IRA, or other retirement account, make sure you have named your beneficiaries.

If as a single person with no real estate, you still may wish to execute a simple will to distribute your personal effects to your friends, If you do not have a will, all of your personal belongings will be distributed to your next of kin (parents, then siblings, and so on).

Copyright 1999-2019 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.