If you’re married but sans kids and don’t ever expect to alter that status quo, you can basically just opt of any discussion on estate planning that some of your friends and acquaintances might be having, right?
After all, the standard thinking of many regarding estate administration is that it is all about passing on wealth to future generations. If you and your spouse aren’t ever going to be concerned with that, why not just save some time, money and mental exactions by forgoing planning and, well, living life in the present?
A recent article on childless working couples and estate planning responds to that thought process and the inclination of some so-called “DINK” spouses — dual-income, no-kid couples — to just forgo entirely any formalized estate planning, based on a belief that not having kids around largely renders the process irrelevant.
That is simply wrong thinking, notes the above media piece, which contends that “the choice to not have children does not make the need for an estate plan any less important.”
In truth, there are lots of reasons — and very important ones — why a DINK couple should engage in sound and timely estate planning, with assistance from a proven estate administration attorney.
Here’s one. Many childless, dual-income couples are energized about the idea of a personal legacy and gifting one or more charities. That objective is routinely accomplished by many people through the establishment of one or more trusts, which an experienced attorney can help establish.
And here’s another: Even without kids, a couple with income must logically focus on a plan to distribute life’s acquired wealth — savings accounts, real estate, heirlooms and so forth — in some fashion. Often that means consideration of family members outside a marriage, as well as friends and close acquaintances.
And every person, regardless of marital/family status, is benefited by ensuring that important health care decisions — such as end-of-life medical care, appointed representatives to make key decisions in the event of incapacity, and so forth — are made while they can still be addressed in an effective manner.
The central aim of estate planning, notes the aforementioned article, is to manage/minimize uncertainty, with tailored planning advancing that goal regardless of the wealth or composition of a family.