Estate Planning Strategies for Couples without Children

Not everyone can have children, and not everyone wants them. Supporting this trend are statistics that reveal America’s fertility rate is on the decline. In 2018, the number of children born in the United States even dropped to its lowest rate in 32 years. 


There are numerous reasons why couples are deciding to not have children including concerns about money and uncertainties about the prospect of raising a child in today’s world. Some couples who have decided to not have children make the mistake of thinking that they do not need a detailed estate plan, but in actuality they do. 


It is still important to make sure that any assets owned by the couple pass according to their wishes. It is also often critical that burial and funeral requests of the couple are properly carried out. As a result, this article reviews some important details that couples without children should remember while estate planning. 


# 1 – Wills Are an Absolute Must


Wills play an important role for couples without kids because they contain designation about how assets should be transferred without a will. If both spouse’s die without wills, New York probate law will determine how assets are distributed among survivors. 


In some cases, this means that a couple’s assets will end up being transferred in an undesirable manner. Despite the importance of wills, however, a staggering number of people still die each year without one. 


# 2 – Make Sure to Plan for Pets


A large number of couples who decide not to have children end up owning pets with whom they share a close relationship. If you own a pet, you must make sure that their future is planned for in case something unexpected happens to you and your spouse. 


Failure to do so means that your beloved pet will end up another one of the approximately 500,000 animals that are euthanized each year because they were not taken into consideration during the estate planning process. 


Not only is it important to appoint someone to care for your animal, but you should also make sure that the appointed individual is okay with accepting this duty. Some couples with sufficient resources even decide to put money into a trust to care for the animal.


# 3 – Periodically Review Your Estate Plan


Some couples make the great mistake of thinking that once estate planning documents are created, no further steps are needed. Instead, you should make sure to update your estate planning documents are every big event including births, death, and divorce. 


If no big changes occur, you should still make sure to review your estate plans every few years. 

Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer


Estate planning is not the same among everyone. The strategies necessary for couples with children are vastly different from those couples who have decided to never have children. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help no matter what your exact situation is. 

Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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