"We say to people: 'If you do nothing, your money will go to the state. Is that what you want?' That's enough to make them want to consider something else," says Andrew Russell, a certified financial planner in San Diego.
If you have no spouse or children, you may feel like you have an estate planning dilemma. How do you plan when there is no one to plan for? For an increasing portion of the population there are no direct descendants, and those individuals are pondering their wealth distribution options.
Reuter’s summarized the issues in a recent article titled “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless.” It’s in one sense a case of there being no easy or automatic options. This means that the sky is the limit. The other side of the coin, however, is that there is much room for option paralysis. For most, the most rewarding decision is to find a way to give back to the community and to the causes about which you care most through charitable giving.
This is not simply a niche issue, either. According to statistics, there are over 17 million unmarried Americans over the age of 65 who will experience this tricky position. And it is not just an issue for retirees or those of a certain age. You are childless until you have children, so even the young have to address this in their own planning. After all, estate planning is not an age-driven activity. Be sure to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you navigate your options and make adjustments as your situation changes.
Reference: Reuters (June 2, 2014) “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless”