Estate Planning for Childless Couples

Who will receive my assets if I die without an estate plan and I do not have children?

Today, many couples have elected not to have children or to wait for some time before embarking on the journey of parenthood.  Whether you are childless by choice, circumstances, or just putting off children, it is of critical importance that you create an estate plan.  Childless couples will at times face some difficult questions when it comes to who will receive their assets after their death. Failure to make an estate plan could potentially result in one’s assets going to a distant relative or even the state.  Act now by creating an estate plan to ensure your hard-earned assets go to the person or charity you desire.

California’s Intestacy Laws

It is important for Californians without an estate plan to be aware of what would happen to their assets should they die intestate, or without a will or trust.  Per California law, if the decedent is married, his or her share of community property will pass to the surviving spouse. Should the decedent not have children, his or her separate property will also pass to the surviving spouse.  

What if you and your spouse die together in an accident? According to California’s laws of intestacy, the decedent’s assets would be divided between his or her living parents if the decedent is childless.  If the decedent’s parents are deceased, then his or her assets will go to any living siblings or alternatively grandparents. Should the decedent be without living relatives, the estate could potentially go to the state of California.

Using an Estate Plan to Protect Your Assets

To avoid potential uncertainty as to whom will receive your assets, now is the time to sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan.  In addition to ensuring your assets go to whom you desire through a will, you can also minimize the taxation and fees that may be assessed to your estate. In addition to making a will, many couples with assets will benefit from forming one or more trusts.  Your estate planning attorney will help you to assess your family