If you don’t have children, and you don’t have a life partner, you may feel uncertain about what to do with your assets when you pass—or whom to designate as your decision maker if you become incapacitated. You may not have close family or friends you’d like to leave your estate too.
Making an estate plan will give you control over the future of your assets. This post offers some tips to get started.
Where to begin
Start by asking some basic questions:
- If your parents are still alive, how well are they to take care of themselves? Along with taking care of your own estate matters, you may need to provide some guidance to mom or dad.
- If you have pets, how can you ensure they will be cared for? This can include making a pet trust, whereby you leave your pet—and the financial resources to support them—to a trusted person who can provide a new home for them.
It’s possible that since you don’t have kids, and don’t have a life partner, you would designate other children in your life like your nieces and nephews as beneficiaries. Talking to the kid’s parents will help everyone be on the same page, and you may even select the parents to act as guardians until the children are old enough to receive the money you are leaving for them.
It’s worth noting that in addition to naming the beneficiaries for your estate, it’s possible there are other assets you may need to select beneficiaries for. These include your life insurance policies and 401(k) plans.
Giving to a charity
It’s common you may leave gifts to charities or non-profits you admire. These types of organizations often rely on donations to some extent and your gift would be used to do good. When you plan to make a large gift to a charity, you can get in touch with them before to make sure your gift will be used the way you would like.
Making decisions about end of life care and where your assets will go can be a daunting experience. By working with an estate planning attorney, you can make sure your hard-earned money will go where you choose.