Estate planning is something that may seem like more of a priority for people who are married. When you are married you have someone depending on you, and in many cases you are going to have children in addition to your spouse.
However, estate planning is also important for single adults. With this in mind, let’s look at the fallout that would result if you were to pass away as a single person without a last will or any other estate planning documents.
If you die without a last will or trust directing the transfer of your assets you will have died intestate. Under the laws of the state of Oklahoma your property would go to your closest living relative or relatives as defined by the state.
This can create circumstances that may not sit very well with you. Let’s explain by way of example.
Suppose your mother has passed away, and your father is still alive. You are single, and you have no children. You have one sister, and you are very close with your sister. She is a single parent who is living paycheck to paycheck.
Your father is remarried, his wife is 20 years younger than he is, and she has her own children. Unfortunately, your father seems to be wrapped up in his new family. He rarely communicates with you or your sister. In addition to this, he is quite well-off financially.
If you were to die intestate in Oklahoma City, under the intestate succession rules of the state of Oklahoma your father would inherit all of your property. Your sister would get absolutely nothing.
If things go the way you may expect, someday your father’s young wife would probably wind up in possession of the property that your father inherited from you.
Significant Other Disinherited
There is also the matter of a significant other being disinherited if you die intestate in Oklahoma City. If you live with someone in a committed relationship without getting married there is no bond in the eyes of the law. As a result, your closest blood relative could inherit everything if you do not plan your estate. Your partner could be left completely out in the cold.
Many single people are aware of the fact that they really should put an estate plan in place. However, they wind up procrastinating because they are still relatively young. They feel as though there will always be time to take action at a later date.
Unfortunately, sometimes people pass away before they actually put a plan in place, and negative consequences are the result.
If you want to take action but you are not sure about how you should proceed, the logical first step would be to set up a consultation with a licensed Oklahoma City estate planning attorney.
Parman & Easterday