A Critical Need to Plan Ahead
When people think of estate plans, they might automatically consider situations where a parent passes away and leaves their belongings to their children to be split up among them. But what about those who might not have any children? Individuals who do not have children might not think it is necessary to have an estate plan, but not having children presents an even greater urgency to create an estate plan. Continue reading to learn more, and be sure to watch our webinar on this topic for even more information.
Change Your Estate Planning Perspective
The common presumption surrounding estate planning is that an estate plan is solely to pass along assets to family members and a few friends. However, it is necessary to reframe that perspective. Estate planning is about preserving your autonomy and giving power to those you love. An estate plan also ensures that what you have worked hard to build in your life does not go to waste.
When You Don’t Have an Estate Plan
Not having an estate plan can actually create more significant problems if you do not have children. For example, without having a power of attorney in place as part of your estate plan, no one can pay your bills when you become ill, and no one would be able to speak with doctors about your condition if you are incapacitated. It’s also possible that someone who you do not know could take over your life for you while you are ill, and they may not handle your assets as you would want them to.
Perhaps the most significant concern people face when there is no estate plan is how assets are distributed when you pass away. Without a will or a trust, the state’s guidelines are used to determine where to send assets and to whom they go; this likely may not follow your wishes, and those you love may be left without critical assets that they could use.
3 Key Documents to Include in an Estate Plan
With the above in mind, you should have an estate plan, especially if you do not have children. The following three documents should be included in your estate plan:
A revocable living trust.
A durable power of attorney
An advanced healthcare directive.
As you prepare your estate, remember to be intentional in your decisions. Creating an estate plan is not a “check the boxes” situation; your choices can impact your loved ones for years to come.
Work with California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you need help creating your estate plan, turn to the team at GIlfix & La Poll Associates LLP. For over 40 years, we have helped clients throughout California create estate plans that protect their futures and their families’ lives.
Learn more about how we can help or schedule a consultation by calling (650) 683-9200 or visiting our website.