And who will take care of making sure dying wishes are fulfilled?
Estate planning can be difficult. If you have no spouse or children, this can compound the dilemma. How do you plan when there is no one for whom to plan? For an increasing portion of the population there are no direct descendants.
Reuter’s summarized the issues in a recent article titled “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless.” It’s in one sense a case of there being no easy or automatic options. This means that the sky is the limit. The other side of the coin, however, is that there also is much room for option paralysis. For most, the most rewarding decision is to find a way to give back to the community and to the causes about which you care most through charitable giving.
This is not simply a niche issue, either. According to statistics, there are over 17 million unmarried Americans over the age of 65 who will experience this tricky position. And it is not just an issue for retirees or those of a certain age. You are childless until you have children, so even the young have to address this in their own planning. After all, estate planning is also not an age-driven activity. Be sure to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you navigate your options and make adjustments as your situation changes.
Reference: Reuters (June 2, 2014) “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless”