Janssen Law, PLC

No kids? You still need an estate plan.

Having kids may have never been in the cards for you. You may have known from an early age that you did not want to be a parent, or certain circumstances later in life may have made it impossible to have kids. Whatever the case, you accepted and enjoyed your life even though you never took on the role of a parent.

Because you do not have kids to pass assets on to or to name guardians for, you may think that you do not need to go through with estate planning. However, taking this step is still important even if you do not have children. You may still have wishes for your assets, and without a plan, they could up in the hands of an undesired person.

Think of your health

You may also want to remember that estate plans do not only address assets. The right documents can also help you detail your plans for long-term care, what treatment you should receive in a potentially terminal situation and who can act on your behalf when it comes to financial and medical decisions.

Your power of attorney documents allow you to appoint someone to handle these decisions if you can no longer do so yourself. You can either have one person for both financial and medical situations, or you can name separate individuals for each area. Because of the importance of these decisions, you certainly want to give your candidates thorough consideration before making your choice.

Address your assets

Even without kids, you may still have specific people or charities that you would like to benefit from your Iowa estate. By creating a plan, you can name your beneficiaries. You may have nieces or nephews to whom you are close and would like to bequeath assets, or you may have close friends or other family members. If you are interested in charitable giving, you could leave assets to an existing charity or use your plan to set up a charitable organization of your own.

Starting your plan

The exact information you include in your estate plan will depend on your specific personal desires. If you would like to get started, you may have the chance to utilize many tools to help you build a comprehensive plan. Before you begin to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start, you may benefit by consulting with an attorney who can help you through the process.

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