If you are someone who has no living family, no spouse and no children, you might be in a position where you aren’t sure what to do about your estate. You may not feel the need to have a will or estate plan, because you have no specific heirs to leave your assets to in the future.
Whether or not you have children or other heirs to your estate, it is still a good idea to have an estate plan in place. This is because your estate plan protects you and can help you pass on those assets to others who need them, such as organizations you rely on or want to support in the future.
When you have no close family, decisions can be harder
It’s true that having no close family members can make your estate planning decisions more difficult. You may find it harder to select an executor or health care proxy, for example. However, if you die without a will, the state will determine how to pass on your wealth. If there is no one for those assets to go to, then they could end up going back to the state.
This is why it’s important to talk to your attorney about other options. You may be able to set up a scholarship fund, to give gifts or to plan for your money to support something else you care about. You may be able to hire in an executor for the future or reach out to friends who can take over as your health care proxy. There are ways to get around a lack of heirs, but it may take more planning to decide what to do.
Giving gifts now may help you see the benefits of your planning and hard work
If you have a large retirement or have saved thousands to pass on to an heir that you don’t have, then you may want to change how you look at estate planning. Instead of saving those assets to pass on later, why not pass them on now as gifts? You could save on your annual taxes by doing so, and you’ll be able to see how your monetary gifts benefit the organizations or people you donate to.
These are a few things to think about if you have no heirs for your estate. Your attorney can walk you through your options and talk to you more about why your estate plan is still important.