A single status does not necessarily reflect someone’s age. Many singles in Texas are in their 20s or 30s, while others are beyond 45, 55 or older and are unmarried. A question of whether to execute an estate plan, and particularly, whether to sign a will, is something you may have wondered at some point, if you’re single.
As is the case for married couples, anyone who dies without a will is “intestate,” meaning a probate court judge will determine how to distribute the decedent’s assets. If a surviving spouse or children exist, it is common for the state to distribute assets of an intestate estate to them. However, if you are unmarried and have no children at the time of your death, this type of asset distribution would not be relevant, which is why it is best to have a will in place ahead of time.
Reasons why a single person might want to sign a will
The following list includes conditions that might compel you to craft a last will and testament as an unmarried person:
- You own a house or other real estate.
- There is a positive net worth associated with your estate.
- You own items of financial or sentimental value that you want specific people to inherit when you die.
- You are a business owner and wish to include instructions for succession in an estate plan.
If any of your assets or property is co-owned, restrictions regarding inheritance would apply. It’s important to seek clarification of Texas estate laws before signing a last will and testament.
What if you get married after already signing a will?
The estate planning process is customizable, meaning that you may execute a plan that fits your unique needs and ultimate asset protection goals. If you sign a last will and testament, you can make deletions, additions or updates to your will, as needed, provided that you are of sound mind when you do so.
It’s advisable to conduct periodic reviews of your entire estate plan to make sure it is up to date. If you sign a will as a single person, then later marry, it’s easy to add your spouse as a beneficiary to your will. The same goes for children or grandchildren you might have, following the initial execution of your estate plan. In short, it’s never too soon nor a bad idea to create a last will and testament or other estate planning documents, regardless of your marital status at the time.