There are a number of myths that continue about exactly who needs an estate plan. For example, couples without high value assets can still benefit from estate plans.
Another common myth is that a person who does not have children has no need for estate planning. In reality, it is critical for everyone to create an asset plan to make sure that their wishes are carried out in the way that they deserve.
This article examines some of the important reasons why you should make sure to consider engaging in estate planning even if you do not have children.
# 1 – Use a Will in Your Estate Plan
It is critical for everyone including people who do not have children to create simple estate planning documents including a will and last testament.
If you die without a will in New York, your estate will be administered in accordance with New York probate code and you will not have any influence over these results.
For many people who do not have children, they find it helpful to pass on their assets to other family members, friends, or even charities with which the person has a meaningful connection.
# 2 – Consider Creating a Power of Attorney
In addition to creating a last will and testament, it is helpful to create a power of attorney document so an appointed agent can make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
If you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, an agent will be granted the power through a power of attorney document to make these decisions.
If you do not create these documents, there is a substantial risk that your estate or health care decisions will not be made in accordance with your wishes.
Dying or becoming incapacitated without a power of attorney can also create also challenges for family or friends about what healthcare decisions for you.
# 3 – Consider Beneficiaries
Not having children does not mean that there is not anyone in your family who cannot be named in an estate plan. Some of the types of beneficiaries that people without children decide to name include nephews, nieces, friends, and cousins.
To decide who you should name as a beneficiary, it can be helpful to consider who you love and who would benefit most from the receipt of these assets.
# 4 – Make Sure Pets Receive Care
Many people who do not have children develop strong bonds with their pets. It is important to remember that your assets include more than just physical items and can also include a beloved cat, dog, or other pet.
Failing to make sure that your pet will be properly cared for following your death can create a challenge for your surviving loved ones concerning what should happen to the animal.
Some people even decide to create trusts or other complex estate planning devices to make sure that a pet receives adequate care in case something ever happens to the animal’s owner.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
Even if you do not have any children who will receive your assets, you should still make sure to engage in estate planning. While the estate planning process can be complex, an experienced estate planning attorney can make this process much easier.
Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free case evaluation.