Man picking out an estate plan file

Estate Planning—What Happens When You Have No Children?

Everyone needs an estate plan—even when they don’t have children or heirs.

A will and testament is a legal document stating how an individual’s property must be distributed after they die.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have children or grandchildren; you can still leave your property behind for other members of your family, friends, and even charities. If you don’t create a will, the state will take over your property and use it for its own benefits.

Estate planning also involves a Power of Attorney, which becomes invalid after the person dies. The will names an executor a legal document that allows someone else to make decisions regarding your estate when you’re no longer around. You can assign the same person to handle your finances and make medical decisions when you’re unable to do so yourself.

Here’s what you need to know about compiling an estate plan:

1. Assign an Executor

An executor is assigned with the responsibility of “executing your will”. Some people make their estate planning attorneys their executor, but it’s better to pick someone you’re emotionally attached to and trust to do the right thing on your behalf.
Other than the executor, you’ll also need to think about someone who can make medical and financial decisions for you when needed.

2. The People Who Can Benefit From Your Property

Estate planning concept.Here’s hoping you aren’t completely alone in life and can come up with at least a couple of people to who you would like to give your property to.
Make a list of all the valuables you own and then match them with the people in your life.

3. Charitable Organizations

A lot of people who don’t have children or heirs choose to donate their wealth to charities. If you do this during your lifetime, you’ll receive several tax benefits.
You can also set up a charitable trust and distribute money to a charity you for a specified duration.
If you’re thinking of having your money donated after your death, be sure to work with an estate planning attorney to ensure the charity doesn’t get slapped with a large tax bill.

Kalicki Collier is a full-service law firm based in Reno, Nevada. Our firm provides comprehensive legal services, including estate planning, divorce and family law, real estate development, and other areas of law.
If you’re worried about what’ll happen to your property and valuable possessions after your death, get in touch for a consultation with an estate planning attorney Reno.

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