A recent study suggests a growing trend of people in the U.S. choosing to stay single after going through a divorce.
(PRUnderground) March 23rd, 2023
While this decision can be empowering and liberating, it also has important implications regarding estate planning, said Ron Payne, a divorce lawyer and estate planning attorney with Apple Payne Law in Kernersville.
The number of older Americans getting divorced overall has increased in the last 30 years. Fewer than 10% of divorcing people were over the age of 50 in 1990, while today that number is closer to 25%. A 2019 study by Bowling Green State University researchers also found that nearly 70% of older people are still single within a decade following a “gray divorce.”
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the single life, Payne said the estates of these individuals are at risk of financial loss if they don’t have a plan in place.
“As people get older, estate planning becomes increasingly important, especially for those who have chosen to stay single after a divorce later in life,” he noted.
5 Reasons Estate Planning Is Crucial for Those Staying Single After a Gray Divorce
Without a spouse to inherit assets and make decisions on their behalf, Payne warns that older single individuals must be especially diligent in planning for their future and protecting their legacy.
Here are some ways he says estate planning protects you as an older divorced individual who has opted to stay single.
- Protecting Your Assets
Estate planning ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you’re gone. Without a spouse to inherit your assets, it’s crucial to have a clear plan in place to protect your legacy and ensure your loved ones are taken care of.
- Making Medical Decisions
“As we age we may face medical decisions that require someone to make choices on our behalf, and we want to ensure that this individual is someone we trust,” Payne said.
Without a spouse, Payne advises that older single adults designate a specific individual as their healthcare power of attorney, ensuring their wishes for medical care and treatments are respected and carried out.
- Avoiding Probate
Divorce is often expensive, and this financial loss makes your estate planning needs even more urgent so you can leave as many assets as possible to your loved ones.
Estate planning can help your heirs minimize or even avoid the costly and time-consuming process of probate, which is required to distribute assets without a trust.
“This can help ensure your loved ones receive the inheritance you intended without the added stress and expense of going through probate court,” Payne said.
- Minimizing Estate Taxes
Estate planning also allows you to minimize the taxes your estate will owe upon your death, leaving more of your hard-earned assets to your heirs. It can also help you address any outstanding debts, ensuring that they are taken care of so that your heirs are not left with financial obligations.
Planning for Incapacitation
Another reason older individuals who choose to stay single after divorce should take estate planning seriously is the potential for incapacitation.
“As we age, the likelihood of experiencing incapacitation due to illness or injury increases,” says Payne. “Without a spouse, you’ll need someone you trust to handle your affairs and make decisions.”
A durable power of attorney lawyer can designate someone to handle your finances if you cannot do so yourself, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Taking the Next Step Toward Independence After a Gray Divorce
Going through a gray divorce and choosing to stay single can be challenging, but having an experienced divorce lawyer can ensure your independence is protected. They can help you navigate complex legal issues such as property division, spousal support, and retirement benefits, allowing you to move forward with confidence and independence.
Estate planning is essential for anyone, but it’s especially important for older individuals who choose to stay single after divorce. With the help of a qualified estate planning attorney, you can create a plan that reflects your unique circumstances and goals, providing security and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Apple Payne Law has two locations in North Carolina:
- Kernersville office — 900 Old Winston Rd. Suite 212, Kernersville, NC 27284
- Winston-Salem office — 190 Charlois Blvd. Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
About Apple Payne Law
Apple Payne Law is a North Carolina law firm with an experienced legal team. The firm’s estate planning and family law attorneys serve clients in Kernersville, Winston-Salem, and other areas of the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The law firm handles a range of family law and estate planning practice areas, including divorce, marital agreements, wills, trusts, and elder law.
Book a free consultation with a highly-rated family law and estate planning lawyer at Apple Payne Law. The law office is located at 900 Old Winston Rd Suite 212, Kernersville, NC 27284, United States.
About Apple Payne Law, PLLC
Apple Payne law is a trusted North Carolina law firm serving Kernersville, Winston-Salem, and other areas within the Piedmont region of the state. The firm provides legal representation in a variety of family law matters—including divorce, child custody, child support—as well as estate planning services like wills, trusts, power of attorney, and elder law.
The post More People Opting to Stay Single After Divorce Makes Estate Planning Even More Crucial, According to NC Family Law Attorney Ron Payne first appeared on PRUnderground.
Original Press Release.