When most people think about the heirs of an estate, they think of offspring. But what if you never had children? An increasing number of Las Vegas couples face this question when planning for the future. As with all estate planning questions, an experienced attorney can help find the right answers for you. In the meantime, here are some things to know about estate planning for childless couples in Las Vegas.
You’ll Need To Choose Beneficiaries
Perhaps the first concern during estate planning for childless couples in Las Vegas is choosing your beneficiaries. Most parents will automatically bequeath their estate to their children. People without offspring can simply choose other loved ones to name as beneficiaries. You might choose siblings, nieces, and nephews, other relatives, friends, or charitable organizations.
Once you decide who will inherit your assets, create a will or trust that names those beneficiaries. If you both die without doing so, your estate will be distributed according to intestate succession laws and may not go to someone you would choose. It’s also a good idea to tell your beneficiaries ahead of time to minimize surprises (and conflict) in the future.
You Also Need To Name An Agent In Your Power Of Attorney
Another thing to consider is who to name as attorney-in-fact in your power of attorney. This is the person (or people) whom you entrust with your affairs if you and your spouse become incapacitated. Since you won’t have offspring to automatically take on those responsibilities, choosing this agent becomes even more important.
You’ll need to ask someone you trust and whom you can reasonably assume will be competent enough to handle the responsibilities dictated by your POA. They should be willing and able to make sound financial, legal, and medical decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so. When you have someone in mind, speak to them about your desire to make them your agent before asking your attorney to create your POA.
You Should Write Advance Directives For Medical Care
An advance directive is a legal document that gives instructions for your medical care if there comes a time when you can’t make decisions or communicate for yourself. Many people discuss their wishes with adult children, but childless couples will benefit most from creating advance directives that suit their needs. Your estate planning attorney can help you choose what documents are suitable for you:
- A medical power of attorney
- A living will
- A do not resuscitate (DNR) order
- A do not intubate (DNI) order
These documents will tell medical professionals and your attorney-in-fact your preferences for medical care if you become incapacitated.
Williams Starbuck Can Help With All Of Your Estate Planning Needs
Whether you have children or not, the expert attorneys at Williams Starbuck are here to help you with estate planning. We’ll review your options and draw up the documents you need to ensure your wishes are honored. Learn more about our services contact us at 1-702-660-9847 and schedule a free consultation today.