I Don’t Have Kids, Do I Still Need an Estate Plan?

Planning your Estate Without Children

Estate planning is often a topic that is accompanied by the feeling of anguish. The overwhelming majority of people are uncomfortable talking about their imminent death. Unfortunately, it’s something that must be discussed., because, frankly, there’s no way of avoiding death. It happens to everyone; sometimes out of the blue and other times you can see it coming. It is important to have a plan in place for your possessions after you pass away.

If you don’t have children, you may be thinking “what’s the point of putting together an estate plan?” Well, the point is that you get to decide where a lifetime of hard work ends up. You can leave your possessions to anyone, it does not have to be your children or spouse; it can be a friend or a charity as well.  If you do not have a plan for your estate, the state government will determine what happens to your property.

Tips for Planning your Estate

We took it upon ourselves to give you some personal tips on what to do with your stuff after you leave this life. Some of the things you should take care of in an estate plan are:

  • Name an Executor

Naming an executor is one of the most important aspects of an estate plan. The executor will make sure that your estate plan is properly carried out. This person should be reliable and reputable as they will divide your property amongst recipients. Before you name an executor, make sure to speak to the individual. Some people may not want this responsibility.

  • Name a Decision Maker

The decision maker is another important aspect of an estate plan. The decision maker will do just that; make decisions for you when you are unable to, both financially and medically. They will also be responsible for making decisions on items that are not covered in your in your estate plan. This individual must be strong and have the capability to make tough decisions. When you are choosing a decision maker, make sure that person is aware of their impending responsibilities. It’s also recommended that you choose alternate decision makers in the event that the main individual is unable to make a sound decision.

  • Assign Your Stuff

Create a list of everything you own, from your finances, to any jewelry, or any other property or possessions you would like to be addressed. Then designate who gets what. The more detailed you are here, the easier it will be for the executor to follow your estate plan.  

  • Charities?

Are there any charities you contribute to? If there is no one else to leave your possessions to, or because you just feel like it, you can leave them to a specific charity. There are also ways to lessen the tax hit on charities, speak with an estate planning attorney for more information.

  • Pets?

Are you a pet owner? Do your pets have a place to go after you die? You should think about your pet(s) when creating an estate plan. For example, if you have a dog, choose a family member or a friend that is okay caring for them in the event of your death.