No Kids? You Still Need a Plan

Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of your marital status, income or age. Your life circumstances, however, will affect your plan. For example, estate planning for people without children has a different focus than planning for those with kids.

With no children, you won't need to take into account some of the financial obligations associated with children. If you are single or outlive your spouse, however, you also may not have someone who can assist you—with the financial, emotional or physical issues—that often come with aging.

If you don't have children to plan for in your estate, consider the following questions when creating or updating your plan: 
  • How would you like your assets distributed? Do you have loved ones, friends or organizations that you would like to receive your possessions? Make sure your will and beneficiary designations reflect your exact wishes and current circumstances.
  • Who will make health and financial decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able? Choose someone you trust to name as your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf by establishing a health care power of attorney. Choose an agent to handle legal and financial matters by establishing a durable power of attorney. Communicate to them how you would like your decisions carried out.
  • Who will care for you in the event of illness or disability? Since moving in with a child isn't possible, you may wish to purchase disability or long-term care insurance to cover living expenses or nursing care.
  • Do you have pets to care for should they outlive you? Provide for the care of your pet in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Most states allow you to establish a pet trust through your estate plan. You'll need to name a physical caregiver as well as someone to manage the trust.
  • Are there charitable organizations you wish to support after your lifetime? Ensure the charitable organizations you value, such as Gustavus, are taken care of after your lifetime by including them in your estate plan.
Get Expert Advice
When planning your financial and charitable estate, always seek the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney. If you would like to include Gustavus in your plans, we would be glad to work with you and your advisors for solutions that meet your needs. Simply contact Jackie Peterson at jpeters9@gustavus.edu or 507-933-7543 today.

Estate Planning Essentials for Everyone
  • Create a will and possibly a revocable living trust.
  • Create a durable power of attorney for financial and legal matters.
  • Create a health care power of attorney for health care decisions.
  • Review your beneficiary designations.
  • Create a living will to articulate your wishes concerning heroic, life-sustaining measures.