And if you aren't a millionaire?
Among reminders garnered from a seminar on estate planning for singles, sponsored by George Washington University's development office, was this from former IRS Commissioner Sheldon Cohen:
"The best income tax advice for single people is to stay single. In this day of two-earner families -- considering the tax consequences -- it doesn't pay to get married."
Other seminar advice:
Be sure your financial plan considers both personal needs and tax (income, gift and estate) consequences.
Find advisers you trust -- lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, investment counselors, financial planners -- and stick with them.
Be aware -- if you are a divorced single -- that alimony is taxable to the recipient and deductible by the payer. Child support is tax-free to the recipient and non-deductible to the payer.
Invest in real estate, gas and oil.
When considering tax shelters look for high quality and something with intrinsic value. If it's cheap, ask why. (No one sells a bargain.)
Consider charitable giving as a means of providing tax advantages,
Keep a sum of money or asset that can be liquidated easily in case of emergency.
Don't expect Social Security and pension plans to cover all your financial needs in retirement. Plan ahead for sufficient retirement income.
Have a will. Without one, your assets will be disposed of according to state law.