For many people who do not have children, estate planning may not be at the forefront of their mind. If you do not have children, do you really need a will?
The answer is that estate planning is something to consider at any stage of life, whether you have, or intend to start a family. There are many reasons to create a will, with or without a triggering life event.
Creating a will allows you to specify the distribution of your assets upon your death. Even if you do not have children to pass them to, it is likely you still have preferences on who should (or should not) get what. A will can cover personal belongings of any value, financial accounts such a savings account, real estate property and investments. The beauty of a will is that you get to decide how your assets will be distributed instead of your assets being distributed pursuant to the laws of intestacy. You have the flexibility to name family members, friends or charities as beneficiaries under your will.
Creating a will also gives you the opportunity to name an executor. An executor is responsible for managing your estate after your death; responsibilities include gathering your assets, settling your debts, distributing your assets according to your will and generally ensuring your final wishes are carried out. If you do not have an executor, a court can appoint someone to serve as your executor. By creating a will, you can choose someone you trust.
A will can also minimize conflicts among relatives or friends following your death. Without a will, asset distribution may be subject to intestacy laws. Typically, these prioritize spouses and children, but without a spouse or child to inherit assets, these assets may be distributed to family members you do not prefer. A will creates specific instructions for these situations, possibly avoiding potential conflicts after your death.
Speaking of those wishes and desires, creating a will can bring you significant peace of mind during your lifetime. Knowing your affairs are in order and that your final wishes will be handled as you intend comes with a sense of certainty and control. By taking a proactive approach to estate planning, children or not, you are potentially saving yourself (and your loved ones) stress and confusion later.
An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of creating a will, ensuring it is comprehensive and addresses your wishes and unique concerns. To schedule a meeting with Brown Law Firm, LLC call (303) 339-3750.