One of the primary reasons why people get estate plans is to make sure that their spouses and children are provided for, after they pass away.
On the other hand, what if you are single and childless?
When people do not have spouses or children, they often mistakenly believe that no estate planning is necessary. After all, with without a spouse or children, why make plans?
That is faulty logic.
While taking care of a spouse or children is an important reason motivation for estate planning, it is not the sole motivation.
The New York Times mentions another good reason in "Single? No Children? No Will? Big Mistake."
Probate avoidance may be enough reason to have a comprehensive estate plan.
The article mentions a case where three lawyers were assigned by the probate court to find a deceased person's heirs and to oversee the estate distribution. In the end, the attorneys wasted most of the estate assets on themselves.
Even in cases where there is not outright fraud, money can be wasted in probate. Someone has to track down distant relatives and administer the estate.
That is not cheap.
Never think that you do not need an estate plan.
Just because someone is not married and has no children, does not eliminate the need for a solid estate plan.
Reference: The New York Times (March 10, 2017) "Single? No Children? No Will? Big Mistake."