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Do I need an estate plan if I don’t have children?

Some adults choose to have children; others choose not to. If you are an adult without children, you have the benefit of controlling more of your free time and having more disposable income in your pocket. However, you have additional concerns that do not trouble parents. For example, you might sometimes wonder to whom you will leave your assets after you die.

You might believe that because you do not have to divide your estate among children, you do not need an estate plan. This is false—every adult needs an estate plan, even if you do not have kids.

  • You need to decide who inherits

Without children, you still need to determine who will inherit your estate. You can designate your parents, siblings, cousins or friends as beneficiaries. If you wish, you can posthumously donate money to a charity of your choice. Otherwise, the court may not give your money to the people you would have chosen.

  • It avoids probate

If you pass away intestate, the Florida court system takes control of your estate and determines what to do with it. This means that your friends, family and loved ones may not receive any of your assets. The probate process is also long, tedious and expensive—and your surviving relatives will have to navigate it. By creating a legally sound will, your estate can avoid probate court.

  • Someday, you may be incapacitated

Your estate plan will determine who is in charge of your affairs if you cannot act on your own behalf. In rare instances, an illness or accident incapacitates someone, leaving them unable to make their own medical or legal decisions. If this happens, you need a power of attorney in charge of your medical care, finances and other important life areas.

Estate plans are for every adult

Not every adult wants or needs children. But every adult should have an estate plan—even if you think you do not want or need one. Once you create yours, you can rest assured that your legacy lives on with your beneficiaries—whoever they may be.

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