Table of Contents

Is Probate Required if There is a Will?
When is Probate Necessary in New York?
Best Estate Planning Lawyers in Brooklyn: Why it is important?
Do I need an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning for a Married Couple: How to do it?
Estate Planning for Business: Why it is Important?
What is Estate Planning?
What does an Estate Plan include?
Is Estate Planning only for the Wealthy?
Estate Planning for Singles: Widowed, Divorced, and Never Married!
Estate Planning for Pets: Why it is important?
Estate Planning for Children: How to do it right?
Estate Planning Checklist: Important Guidelines & Details!
Estate Planning for Business: Why it is Important?
What Is Estate Planning?
What Does an Estate Plan Include?
Is Estate Planning Only For the Wealthy?
Estate Planning for Pets: Why You Need To Do It?
Estate Planning for Children
Estate Planning for Singles
Estate Planning Tips for A Married Couple
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning for Business
Estate Planning Lawyer
/Common estate planning scams you must ignore
Benefits of Estate Planning for Low Income Individuals
Why Estate Planning for Minors is Important?
Estate Planning for New Parents & Couples!
How to do Estate Planning for Non-US citizens?
How to do Estate Planning for Separated Spouse?
Estate Planning for Young Families & Couples!
Estate Planning Goals For Blended Families
What is Estate Planning in a Digital Age?
Estate Planning Strategy In The Digital World
Importance of Estate Planning In the Down Economy!
Estate Planning Is The Best Tool to Save Inheritance Tax
Estate Planning Process & Step by Step Guide!
Why Estate Planning for Elderly Parents is Important?
How to do Estate Planning for Digital Assets?
Estate Planning for Childless Couples & How to do it?
Custom Web Design
Estate Planning Errors to Stay Away From
Estate Planning Documents: All Must Have Important Docs in Details!
Estate Planning At Different Ages
Estate Planning and the Military; Understand the Importance!
Estate Planning: What happens when your spouse dies?
Estate Planning: Living Trusts vs. Will Difference & Importance!
Estate Planning Errors Through Digital Means
Do You Need A Probate Attorney After Estate Planning
Do Retirement Accounts Go Through Probate?
Estate Planning: Difference between a Will and a Trust!
Challenging Estate Plans – Fraud
Estate Planning: Difference between a Living Will & Power of Attorney

Today many couples in the U.S. are childless either by choice or circumstances. If you are one such couple, then you will think that you don’t need any estate planning as the assets will automatically be transferred to the spouse, however, you are totally wrong in this. Everyone needs to be assured about the fate of their assets and their loved ones. It is possible that the predominance of your financial legacy will be different from those who are parents.

As a childless couple, you want to be assured that your spouse is taken care of, a pet is having a guardian, your likable charities are being supported and your wishes are being respected and fulfilled. Also, you may also want to distribute your property among the family members, relatives and friends as well. Hence, if you are a young couple or a retired couple, irrespective of the assets you own, here are a few things that you should know about estate planning:

1. A will is a must: As the childless couples don’t have natural heirs thus it is mandatory for them to have a written will. If you die without a will, your spouse will inherit your assets. If in case both of you die together or you die first and then your spouse, then it is uncertain who will get the assets and will be decided by the probate court which either could be your spouse’s relatives or any living relative and if there aren’t any then the assets will go the state. In this way, the family of the first spouse to die may be disinherited. On the other hand, you might want to give your assets to some friend or charity which the state is unaware of.

2. Power of Attorney: This is an absolute necessity as it will help you during your lifetime when you will be unable to manage your assets during a severe illness or accident. Through this document, you can appoint a person to handle your affairs related to finance when you are unable to do by yourself. As the person will have a lot of unrestricted ability to act on your behalf, hence you need to be sure that you choose someone trustworthy. Generally, it is advised to have a durable power of attorney as it will be effective even when you are incapacitated.

3. Living will and health care proxy: These are other mandatory documents. A living will specify what sort of treatment you would like to have and whether to prolong your life with medical care or not in case of the dire medical situation and you become incapacitated to tell this by yourself. A health care proxy is the person designated by you to make medical decisions on your behalf.  Without these documents neither your spouse or family member will have access to your medical records nor will they be able to decide for you.

4. Updating beneficiaries: If you have a retirement account or life insurance policy, then the distribution of such assets after your demise will solely depend on beneficiary designation irrespective of what you have mentioned in your will. Hence, you must ensure that the beneficiary name in such accounts must be as per your choice and must be reviewed and updated on regular intervals.

5. Charitable donations: Many childless couples think of donating in the organization that has enriched their life like your Alma mater or to some charitable organization working for society. To ensure such distribution of your assets, there are several types of trust such as charitable remainder trust in which provides you income throughout your life and after your demise the balance goes to the charity of your choice. You can also opt for charitable lead trust in which the income generated by the trust is used by the charity until you pass away and determine who will get the wealth.

6. Planning for pets: Many childless couples have a pet in their family whom they love and care like a child. If you are having a pet with you, it’s mandatory to plan for them as well that will take care of them when you are not there. In such cases, you can designate a person in your will to take the responsibility of your pet. However, it may happen that the person is not willing to take responsibility. Hence, you must first discuss with the person and if he/she agrees only then you should designate him/her as guardian of your pet.

If you are living without children, you must be busy enjoying your life, spending on yourself without worries. However, you must be aware of the fact that childless couples need an estate plan as much as required by couples with children. So don’t postpone or delay it further, talk to an estate planning lawyer and start planning today.

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