If you don’t have children and you don’t intend to have children in the future, it’s particularly important to plan your estate. This is because if you do not create an estate plan, your estate may be distributed to unintended beneficiaries. Potentially, your estate could be inherited by distant relatives that you do not even know.
You should take the time to consider the legacy that you want to leave through your estate. You may want to leave your estate to a charity that is close to your heart, or you may have specific relatives in mind, such as nieces and nephews, whom you wish to benefit from your estate.
What will happen if I don’t create an estate plan?
Passing away without an estate plan is known as dying intestate. When this happens, a person’s assets go through the state court system. The state will decide who should be entitled to the assets, and this usually depends on the existence of surviving relatives.
Not creating an estate plan can also have significant implications in your lifetime. When planning their estate, many people designate a durable power of attorney. This person will be entrusted to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. These decisions could be medical decisions or financial decisions, and could hugely impact your future.
How should I plan my estate?
You should start planning your estate by taking care of the practical things, such as thinking about your wishes regarding medical care and selecting a durable power of attorney, for example.
Additionally, you should engage in reflection regarding what you are passionate about and how you would like your financial assets to benefit the world in years to come. This journey of planning for the end of your life does not need to be morbid or scary. It can become a life-affirming process in which you plan you use your assets for positive things.
In taking the first steps in estate planning, you should start by understanding the process as a whole. By doing so, you will gain a clear idea of what decisions need to be made and the level of commitment required.