August 16, 2018
Do You Have Questions About Estate Planning Without Children?
Some challenging situations arise when a person is creating an estate plan. Our Michigan estate planning lawyers have encountered numerous complex and difficult situations as we assist clients in retirement and estate planning. For some adults, estate planning can be difficult if they do not have children. It is assumed when someone dies that their children will inherit their property. However, some adults choose not to have children, but all adults should have an estate plan. Therefore, what considerations do you need to focus upon when you are creating your estate plan.
You Have Numerous Options for Heirs
Even though you do not have children, you have several options for heirs. You can name your parents, siblings, or other family members as your heirs. If you have nieces and nephews, you may want to consider an educational trust for each child. Some individuals choose to place funds in an annuity account to benefit from the funds during their lifetime, but leave the remaining funds to a specific person.
In addition to family members, you may leave money to charities or create a charitable foundation. For some adults, their pets are like their children. With an estate plan, you can create a pet trust to provide for your beloved pet after your death. Working with our Michigan estate planning attorney is an excellent way to explore all your options for distributing your assets after your death.
Gifting and Tax Implications
If you have substantial assets, you may want to consider gifting assets to your heirs during your lifetime to reduce the tax implications for your estate and your heirs. In addition to giving annual gifts to charities, family members, and other people you want to help, you can also utilize various trust agreements and other estate planning tools to avoid estate taxes.
Do Not Forget to Execute Other Estate Documents
Your will is only one of the important estate documents you need to protect yourself and your assets. In addition to a will, you may want to consider a Durable General Power of Attorney. With a Durable General POA, you can name someone to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Without a valid POA, the court appoints someone to manage your finances and assets if you are unable to do so. To retain control over who makes decisions for you, you need to execute a POA now.
In addition to a financial power of attorney, you also need to execute documents related to your health care. As with your financial matters, if you are unable to make decisions related to medical treatment and health care, the court appoints someone to make these decisions if you do not have the legal documents in place appointing someone to make these decisions. Our lawyers can discuss a Medical Directive, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will to help you determine the documents you need to accomplish your wishes and desires.
Call Now to Discuss What You Need to Do To Create an Estate Plan
We understand that creating an estate plan may not be a high priority. However, we encourage you to make time to review your options and execute legal documents to protect yourself. You want to remain in control of decisions regarding your property and your health care. Without an estate plan, the court takes control.
Furthermore, if you have an estate plan, it is a good time to review your plan with our Michigan estate planning lawyer. Changes in the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 may require changes in your estate plan. Our attorneys review your estate plan to ensure you are taking advantage of all benefits under the new tax law.
Call 888-390-4360 to schedule a consultation with one of the attorneys of The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA.