When people in Washington have kids, they may start thinking about estate planning. Children inspire many people to make a will in order to help ensure the children will be provided for in the future. Still, many people choose not to have kids and live fulfilling lives. They may have even more time to dedicate to their careers and accumulate significant assets. People who are child-free may think that they don't need to worry about estate planning. However, most child-free people still have strong feelings about what they want to happen to their belongings after they pass away.
Making a will, trust or other estate documents can help child-free people to plan for the future. Making out a will can be especially important for long-term couples who choose not to marry. A partner may not be entitled to any belongings under state intestate provisions if there is no will leaving belongings to that person. Around 64% of people don't have a will, but it can be important for those who want to make sure their assets are directed correctly.
In addition, power of attorney documents can be particularly important for those who have strong feelings about how they want their medical care to be handled. A power of attorney for health care purposes would allow a named, trusted person to make decisions about the kind of treatment a person receives in case he or she is incapacitated. Similarly, a financial power of attorney can help to make sure a trusted person keeps the bills paid in case of an emergency situation.
There are many circumstances in which child-free people and couples can benefit from an estate plan. An estate planning attorney may help people to draft key documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney that reflect their vision for the future.