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Estate Planning 101: Planning Your Estate When You’re Child-Free

Though most individuals without a child assume that estate planning is unnecessary, a comprehensive estate plan is still essential for individuals or couples with or without a child. Other than that, people might think that dealing with estate plans would be a troublesome chore to complete. However, this is not the case. Estate plans are vital for everyone, and it is incredibly easy to put together. Making sure your money gets distributed to wherever you want it to go is still a crucial responsibility that needs to get done before you leave this world. You may want to leave your wealth to other family members or charitable organisations and projects you support.

Draw up a will

When your time comes, not having a will automatically let the state distribute your wealth according to the law. All your hard-earned cash and assets will fall into the hands of strangers. That is why it is essential to write a will to ensure that your assets will be going to your desired beneficiaries. A basic will is the only thing you will need, and creating such is one of the easiest things you can do. What this can do is leave your assets to people or groups you prefer, identify a key person that will manage your property when you’re gone, and name an executor that ensures the terms of your will are carried out.

Creating a basic will is conveniently done through DIY wills. Making your own will is ultimately a more affordable and straightforward option so that you can ensure that your will can align with your needs and portray your explicit and unmistakable terms. This saves you time since you can write your will in just a short amount of time. The content of your will can also be kept private as you are the only one that controls its content. This is perfect for individuals or couples that would not prefer to discuss their estate with others.

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Create a power of attorney or POA

A POA is a type of legal paper that enables you to permit a trusted, authoritative individual to make your decisions for you when you’re gone. A POA must be notarised and witnessed as you write it. Having a durable power of attorney can help you manage your finances like investments, property matters, and bills. The person in charge will have the responsibility to make decisions that are based on your best interest. Thus, deciding on a person that you trust is crucial.

This legal document is vital to manage your financial affairs for when you are unexpectedly no longer around. This can also cover when you are stuck in a hospital or rehabilitation center for a long time. Planning with a power of attorney can reduce the issues and complications in the future. As long as you have a person who understands your interests and goals, then you won’t have to worry when you arrive in the afterlife. Make sure to spell out specific terms and the type of authority you pass on to the person you choose. Consider having a consultation with an attorney that can efficiently assist you with these kinds of arrangements.

Consider living trusts

Living trusts are legal documents that allow you to place your assets into a trust. At the same time, you’re still alive and get transferred to your desired beneficiaries once you’re gone. As a trustee, you can manage and handle your living trust while having complete control over every asset stored in the trust. Through this, your assets or property will no longer need to go through probate court, which is a lengthy process that may cost you more money. You may now give your property directly to your chosen beneficiaries. On top of that, making a living trust can reduce your estate taxes and lengthy property management.

Keep safe your legal documents

After you’re gone, the person you identified to administer your assets may need to use your legal documents. Specifically, these are your will, real estate deeds, insurance policies, trusts, stocks, and bonds. Other than that, annuity certificates, bank account, retirement plan information, debt information, and funeral prepayment plans or final instructions you wish to be followed should also be organised and kept. Keeping them in a safe place where your executor can easily find them will make the process easier and more organised when the time comes.

All in all, once you consider the simple tips mentioned above, the seemingly burdensome process of planning your estate will be tolerable. Having a durable estate plan can ensure that your hard work will be passed on to worthy individuals. Even if you’re not that wealthy, estate planning can secure and protect your assets as soon as you’re one. This can also prevent tax burdens from being shouldered by your relatives or loved ones.

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