Increasing numbers of young people are setting off into life as single adults. Being single offers great personal freedom and opportunities, but it also comes with unique challenges when planning for their medical and financial needs, particularly in the event of disability or death.
Access to Medical Information
When people reach the age of 18, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects their sensitive patient health information from unauthorized disclosure. The HIPAA law effectively cuts parents' ability to access their adult children's medical records.
This can cause difficulty for singles who remain on a family insurance plan or need to lean on family assistance during a health crisis. If a young adult executes an appropriate release form, the family can remain informed about health situations and assist with billing and insurance issues.
Authorizing Someone to Help
Single individuals have no clear person to step in to care for them during an emergency. Young adults in long-standing relationships cannot speak on behalf of a disabled loved one.
Setting up an estate plan with a power of attorney and health care directive allows single adults to pick people who will step in when they are incapacitated to oversee their care on their terms. By pre-selecting trusted friends or family, young adults can ease their minds and those of their loved ones, preventing unnecessary drama in an already difficult time.
Determining How Property is Distributed
Single people have loved ones: family members, friends, or pets. Single people can also have more capacity for charity because they may not have close or extended family. So, what happens to a single person's belongings when they die? Tennessee law provides default rules for those who die without an estate plan. In other words, the State will decide who gets their belongings, which may not line up with their desires.
Setting up an estate plan allows single people to direct who receives their assets after their passing. Many people believe they “don't have a lot” but often are surprised at the number of assets they possess. Significant assets like houses or bank accounts are not the only things impacted by death. A person's tangible personal property carries sentimental value because those belongings remind surviving family and friends of the lost loved one. Even small gifts can have a massive impact on grieving friends or family members. Individuals can also name “guardians” for pets and leave money for their care. The charitably inclined can support their causes with posthumous donations to charitable organizations.
Get Help with an Estate Plan Designed for Young Single Adults
Every adult needs an estate plan, regardless of age or circumstances. Single adults can be particularly vulnerable if an accident or illness renders them unconscious and unable to authorize medical treatment or manage financial matters. Having the right estate planning documents prepared can make all the difference.
The Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier can help young adults set up a plan for their future. Contact our office for a low-cost consultation today, so we can help you or your single adult prepare for tomorrow.