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Why you still need an estate plan if you never have kids

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning gives you an effective way to manage your assets and ensure your wishes come to fruition after your passing. Creating an estate plan also helps you maintain control over certain areas of your life, rather than letting important decisions fall in the hands of the state.

While many individuals associate estate planning with leaving an inheritance for their children, the necessity of an estate plan extends far beyond parenthood.

Beneficiary designations

Without an estate plan, state laws will determine where your assets end up. By creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can specify who should receive your property, investments and possessions. This allows you to allocate your assets according to your preferences.

Health care decisions

Estate planning includes provisions for health care decisions in case of incapacitation. Even if you do not have children, it is important to appoint someone you trust as a health care proxy. This individual can make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.

End-of-life preferences

Estate planning allows you to outline your end-of-life preferences. This can include specifying whether you want life-sustaining treatments, like resuscitation or life support, in certain situations. Making your preferences clear ensures that your wishes come to be, regardless of your parental status.

Charitable giving

Many individuals without children have charitable organizations or causes close to their hearts. An estate plan enables you to allocate assets for charitable giving, supporting the causes you care about. Your estate plan can help make a positive impact on the organizations you support.

Avoiding legal disputes

Without a proper estate plan, disputes among potential beneficiaries or family members can arise. Such conflicts can lead to costly and time-consuming legal battles. An estate plan helps minimize the likelihood of such disputes by outlining your wishes clearly, which can save time, money and stress for your loved ones.

Per the Pew Research Center, in 2021, 44% of non-parents between 18 and 49 said it is unlikely they will ever have kids. Estate planning is a valuable tool that helps you maintain control over your financial and personal matters, regardless of your parental status.