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Friday, July 23, 2021

Estate Planning for People Without Children

Everyone needs an estate plan, especially people without children. However, due to their unique needs, people who don’t have kids must approach the estate planning process differently than those who do. In this article, we provide some estate planning tips for people without children.

Draft a Will

If you don’t have children, you definitely need a will. The reason for this is that, without children, you don’t have natural heirs to inherit your wealth. Generally, if you die without a will, your assets will pass to your spouse. However, if you both die simultaneously in an accident or within a short period of one another, the probate court will decide who will get your assets, and this rarely works out well.

Determine Where to Leave Your Assets

If you don’t have kids, you may want to donate your assets to an organization or organizations that have enriched your life. There are several types of trusts you can use to ensure that your money goes where you want it to. For example, with a charitable remainder trust, you can live off a trust’s assets and donate the remaining balance to a charity of your choice when you die.

Plan for Your Pets

Many couples without children have pets that they love. If you are a pet owner, it's important to ensure that they’ll be cared for when you pass away. There are several ways to go about this. One way is to designate a person in your will to take care of your pets. You can also put money into a trust that is specifically established for your pets’ care. In addition, you may designate an organization that will care for your pets with money that you assign for that purpose.

Designate a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to designate who will make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. With this document, you can appoint a person to manage your investments, pay your bills, and deal with any property issues that may arise.

Periodically Review Your Designated Beneficiaries

If you have life insurance policies or retirement accounts, they will be distributed upon your death to your designated beneficiaries. A common error that people make is failing to keep their beneficiaries current. Therefore, you should periodically review your beneficiary designations to ensure that they are up to date.

Contact a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney

If you don’t have children, it’s imperative that you have an estate plan in place. However, in order to ensure that all of your estate planning documents are properly drafted, you need an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney on your side. At Keating Law, PLC, we will help you create an effective estate plan that addresses your unique needs. If you’re ready to begin the estate planning process, please contact us today to arrange a free consultation.

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