One thing that can make estate planning complicated for those in Massachusetts and elsewhere is simply not having any children. Not only do children often end up as the ones who receive money or property, but they also can play a large role in the whole process by helping to distribute that money. If someone is setting up a will or trust and has no children, what should they do?
Many people turn to charities. Others give money to schools that they attended. Either way, many people who offer advice on this subject will point out how it is important to get things in order, especially when there is a significant amount of money — such as $100,000 or more — that has to be considered.
One person who works in the field pointed out that the state often gets a lot of the money if the person passes away without a will. Without children, they may not feel much drive to get a will in place because they do not have kids to give the money to, but some of them also do not simply want the money to go to the government. Making a will and doing estate planning is a way to avoid this end.
Another thing that needs to be considered during this time is a health care directive. Those without children to make choices about health and long-term care need to appoint someone to do it on their behalf so that those decisions are made correctly even if they cannot make them on their own.
According to reports, there are about 17 million people in the United States who are 65 or older, and thus either nearing or entering retirement.
Source: Reuters, “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless” Beth Pinsker, Jun. 02, 2014
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