“Estate Planning for D.I.N.K.S. (Dual Income, No Kids)”
ESTATE PLANNING FOR D.I.N.K.S. (Dual Income, No Kids)
If we have no children, why do we need an estate plan?
It is a common misunderstanding that people without children do not really need an estate plan. The following lays out several reasons why even couples without children need to consider some aspects of estate planning:
1. Don’t Leave a Mess! It can be uncomfortable to discuss the fact that you will, ultimately, die someday, but the estate planning attorneys at Damon, Ver Merris, Boyko & Witte, PLC, can assist you to craft a complete estate plan so that those you leave behind are not left with a mess after you are gone. We can work closely with you to make certain that you have a plan that is best for you and your loved ones. As your attorney, we understand that you may have unique desires and can assist you in crafting a very personal plan that may well be different from anyone else’s. To die without such a plan, will mean your loved ones will have to go through the Probate Court process, wasting time, money and energy while also dealing with a personal loss brought about by your death.
2. End of Life Decisions. Many people think that simply because they are married, they will be in a position where their spouse will be able to make all the end of life decisions for them. This is not always correct as, particularly with elderly couples, the surviving or less ill partner may be unable to assist in decision making due to infirmity of body and/or mind. It may also be the case that a healthcare facility may not permit a spouse to make end of life decisions for their partner, simply because of their relationship with the patient. Making certain that your desires are followed, in the event you become incapacitated is an important part of the complete estate plan. To deal with this appropriately, you need to make certain that you have a medical Power of Attorney and/or a living Will to assure your desires are followed when it comes to your care.
- Intestate Succession. If you die without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed under the laws of the State where you resided when you died. This means the government will determine who your heirs are and how much each of them should receive. You may have a strained relationship with your family members and/or lack close family members and may prefer to have friends or charitable organizations receive the bulk of your estate. If you fail to have an estate plan, your State will determine this, rather than you. If this is not what you would want to happen, then it would be wise for you to have a carefully crafted estate plan that determines to whom your assets will go. Do not leave such an important personal decision up to the State!
- Beneficiaries. Many people who do not have children fail to name or update beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance policies, retirement plans or other property. If you fail to do that for lack of an estate plan, then your intended beneficiaries will have to go through a process involving the court, and, again, have to incur time and expense in order to accomplish what may be or not be, your wishes. Your estate planning attorneys here at Damon, Ver Merris, Boyko & Witte, PLC, can assist you in making certain your desires are carried out.
As pointed out in these few examples, the fact that you do not have children does not mean you do not need to have an estate plan.
For more thorough information and advice the divorce attorneys at Damon, Ver Merris, Boyko & Witte, PLC are experienced in assisting divorcing parties in obtaining attorney fee awards from the court. For more thorough information, and advice, the divorce attorneys at Damon, Ver Merris, Boyko & Witte, PLC can assist you. If you have any questions regarding this aspect of your divorce process, or if you wish to have post-divorce discussions of continuing issues, please do not hesitate to contact the law firm of Damon, Ver Merris, Boyko & Witte, PLC, 1t (616) 975-9951 to speak to one of our Grand Rapids divorce or family law attorneys.
We are here to help. – Curtis R. Witte / August 2, 2019
While this posting originates from a law office, none of the contents should, in any way, be considered legal advice. If you have not signed a retention letter describing the legal services to be provided and the amount to be paid for such services, you are not a client of this firm.