Estate Planning for Single Individuals

For single individuals without children and without any future plans to have children, it is still vitally important to formulate an estate plan in the event of untimely death.  A single person, of course, possesses assets, possessions, money, accounts, etc., and an estate plan allows for all of those assets to be distributed to the person, persons, charities, or organizations of the decedent’s choosing.

Without a will, an individual’s possessions and assets will be distributed to relatives and family members of the decedent in accordance with a preset order determined by law.  This, however, is predetermined and may not be the order in which the deceased may have wanted his or her assets to be distributed.  Furthermore, without a will, the deceased’s family might have to expend a lot of money navigating the waters of the administrative proceedings associated with intestacy.  Intestacy is the term for what happens when a person dies without a will.

Under Connecticut law, where a person dies without any children and without a will, the estate will be distributed in accordance with the following order: first a portion will go to the decedent’s husband or wife, if any; next, to the parent or parents of the deceased; if there is no parent, the estate will go to the siblings of the deceased and those who legally represent them.  If the deceased has no surviving parents or siblings, the “residue of the estate shall be distributed equally to the next of kin in equal degree.”[1] Those “next of kin” may be relatives you have never met or heard of or met, but who by law could be entitled to a share of your estate in the event of death.

It is important to consult with an attorney who is experienced in estate planning law.  The attorneys at Maya Murphy have years of experience in will consultations, preparation, and contests.  Should you have any questions relating to your estate planning, do not hesitate to contact our Westport, Fairfield County office at 203-221-3100.


[1] Conn. Gen. Stat. §45a-439.