If you and your spouse never plan to have kids, you might think that establishing a solid estate plan isn’t necessary. However, neglecting an estate plan could actually have consequences. If you don’t have a solid will in place, your assets might not go to who you want them to after you die. By taking the time to draft an estate plan, you can ensure all your final wishes are carried out.
Here are some estate planning tips for childless couples.
Establish a Will As Soon As Possible
If you die without a will and don’t have kids, your assets will go to your spouse. However, complications could arise if you both die at the same time or your spouse passes away shortly after you die. If neither of you has a solid will in place, the court will decide who will inherit your assets. They may decide to give your assets to someone you disapprove of, like the brother you haven’t talked to in over a decade. By creating a valid will, you can ensure that your assets go to the right people.
Have a Plan for Your Pets
It’s common for childless couples to have one or pets. They might love and treat them like they would their child. If you and your spouse have a pet, it’s crucial for you to have a plan for them. If you die suddenly, you want to make sure your furry family members are taken care of. For example, you could name someone you trust to take care of your pet in your will. However, be sure to ask this person beforehand if they want to take on this responsibility.
Select a Power of Attorney
While it’s not pleasant to think about, you and your spouse could become incapacitated at some point in your life. That’s why it’s so important to select a power of attorney. This person will be responsible for making financial decisions on your behalf and looking out for your best interests. Be selective when choosing a power of attorney, as this person will have access to your financial accounts. He or she should be honest, trustworthy, and organized.
Consider Leaving Money to a Charity
If you and your spouse don’t have kids, you might want to leave some money to a charity that’s important to you. For example, if you have often volunteered at your local animal shelter, you might want to leave something to them. Create a charitable remainder trust, which lets you live off the assets until you die. Then, the remainder of the funds will go to charity.
If you need help establishing a will, contact an experienced wills and trusts lawyer, like a wills and trusts lawyer in Sacramento, CA.
Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into estate planning tips for childless couples.