Estate Planning for Childless Couples

Estate Planning for Childless Couple

Estate Planning for Childless Couples: How to Prepare and Steps to Take

Many estate planning discussions focus on how people can pass their assets to their children, but estate planning is equally as important for people without kids. A comprehensive estate plan can protect your assets, ensure that your wishes are honored, and also determine how your affairs will be handled in the event that you are incapacitated due to an injury or illness. Read on to learn more about how a DC estate planning attorney can help you.

Communicate with Your Partner

The first step in estate planning for a couple without children involves identifying your assets and discussing your plans and intentions for what will happen to them when you pass away. This process can be fairly simple or rather complicated, depending on the assets that you own. For example, determining what to do with a shared bank account is one thing; if you have a jointly-owned business, however, things may quickly get more complicated. Fortunately, an attorney can help guide you through the process and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Prepare Legal Documents, if Necessary

In some cases, you may find that your affairs are pretty much in order. In others, however, you may need to execute certain documents to ensure that your assets are protected and will go to the appropriate party when you pass away. Some of the documents you may need to execute include:

  • A will
  • A living trust
  • A living will
  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  • An advance medical directive

In addition, you should ensure that your jointly owned property is deeded or titled in a way that will allow your interest to pass to the proper party. For example, some types of ownership involve the right of survivorship, which means that the other owners will absorb an owner’s interest when he or she passes away. In contrast, other forms of ownership may allow you to make arrangements for your interest in the property to go to someone else.

Make Sure Your Beneficiary Designations are Up to Date

Finally, it’s critical to ensure that your beneficiary designations are up to date. Retirement plans, bank accounts, and insurance plans will typically follow the beneficiary designation over what it may say in your will. As a result, if you established an account or plan years or decades ago, it’s critical to double-check that your beneficiaries are in line with your wishes.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Washington DC Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning is a complicated process, even for childless couples. In addition, any mistakes you make or issues you overlook could have disastrous consequences for your estate or for the well-being of your partner or intended beneficiaries. 

Attorney Cliff Cohen is a skilled estate planning lawyer in Washington DC that has been practicing law since 1981 and takes the time to clearly understand his clients’ goals prior to creating a custom-tailored estate plan. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today or contact us online.