Posted: July 18, 2016

What kind of estate planning do I need if I do not have any kids?


           Now, the most common reason people decide to create an estate plan is to preserve their estate for their heirs, but not everyone reading this blog has kids or will have kids; and the question that remains is – “why do I need an estate plan?”  The answer is because you (a) should want to direct where your wealth goes when you die, and (b) as we have discussed at length your estate plan is more than just the Last Will and Testament.

            As a regular reader of this blog the information discussed in this article will seem redundant – and it likely is, but when individuals seek out information regarding estate planning they are likely to come across websites that feature generational family photos. In some cases, this may tend to leave the impression that if you don’t have any kids or you are not a senior citizen that you do not need an estate plan; however, in my opinion, that line of thinking is incorrect.  As you should know if you do not already, an estate plan is more than just a Last Will and Testament directing which person you want to have your vintage video game collection.  A successful estate plan also prepares the people in your life to manage your estate when it is most critical

            Beside a Last Will and Testament, it is important to have a Living Will.  A living will may also be known to you as a medical directive.  It is a document that informs your loved ones and your medical providers what type of treatment you want to receive at the end of life.  If you are taking the mature step of considering an estate plan you are likely no longer a minor, and a parent cannot make those decisions on your behalf.  A living will allows your family and friends to avoid disagreement on the type of care you should receive.

            Another important feature of an estate plan is designating individuals to take care of you if you become unable to do so.  These can be accomplished through the use of Medical Power of Attorneys and Financial Power of Attorneys.  The Medical P.O.A. will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so either temporarily (i.e. after a bad accident) or permanently through a disease.  It is also important that this person have access to your medical records through a HIPAA authorization.  The Financial P.O.A. will allow an individual to access your accounts to make sure your estate remains in good standing; for instance, the ability to access your accounts after your death to maintain mortgage and tax payments, or during a period of incapacitation to make sure your estate is there when you are ready.  Additionally, you can customize a power of attorney to fit your specific needs for your estate.

            I would also direct you to an entry I made revolving digital accounts.  It is important you take a minute to write down information to allow someone to access your emails, bills, and other online information to manage your estate if the need arises.

            Now, you still do need a Last Will and Testament in order to dictate where you would like your property to go.  Obviously this is the reason anyone needs a will, but if you are not preserving for your heirs you need to think about where you want that money to go and for what purpose.  You can have it go to a charity, to your church, or to a friend in need. This is an important decision because if you don’t take the time to create one, in the most extreme circumstances it can go back to the state per Louisiana Civil Code Article 892.

                If you have further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact our office via Facebook, email (mdonovan@donovanlawfirmllc.com) or phone at (985) 259-7633 to schedule a consultation or ask a question.


Post Categories