When you have no children, you may be wondering if there is a benefit to preparing your estate plan. What is the point when you have no one to benefits from or inherit your assets? Regardless of whether you have children, estate planning attorneys want you to know that it is imperative that you still create some sort of estate plan so that you can choose who will inherit your assets. If you decide you do not want to do that, then the state will govern who receives these assets and makes end-of-life decisions for you. For more information on what you may want to include in your estate plan and how a lawyer can help, reach out to a law firm now.
Is estate planning a personal or legal process?
When planning your estate, you should not think of these things as mutually exclusive. Instead, creating a will or a trust or other end-of-life document is something that is so personal that you want to make it a legal decision. For example, even if you do not have children, you may wish for your favorite cousin to get a majority of your assets while other cousins or family members do not get the same things. Without an estate plan in place, a court will have no way of knowing who you would prefer your assets go to and would need to make the best-educated decisions on your behalf which could still be entirely wrong.
While most people know of trusts and wills, other important legal documents you should create include a durable power of attorney for financial and legal decisions as well as an advanced directive for health care decisions. If you are mentally or physically incapacitated and can no longer make these important decisions, you want to ensure that someone you completely trust is there to make them on your behalf. Even if you are married, you should not assume that a court will allow your spouse to make decisions unless you write them down in these documents.
How will my assets benefit from a trust?
When you create a trust, you can still manage your assets while you are alive and ensure that if you pass away while your trust is in place that someone else is named as the successor trustee. This ensures that someone can manage your assets without the hassle of going through probate court, which can be a lengthy and more expensive process.
Clearly, there are many reasons you may need an estate plan in place when you are thinking about how you want to distribute your assets after you pass away and even how you want legal and health problems solved if you become incapacitated.