Those without a family or heirs often think they don’t need an estate plan. They may believe estate planning is unnecessary since they have no one to inherit the wealth and property they leave behind.
If you are not concerned about what will happen to your assets after you die, there are still plenty of other reasons to create an estate plan. For example, you could arrange to leave your money and property to your favorite organizations.
Many with no heirs like to use the wealth they leave behind to fund and support charities that benefit less fortunate people. Examples of charity-focused estate planning include:
Charitable remainder trusts. This option gives you an income stream until you die, at which point the remaining funds go to the charitable organizations designated in your documents.
Donor-advised disbursements. After making an initial irrevocable yet tax-deductible donation, you can invest these charitable funds for continued growth while recommending grants to your favorite eligible charities.
If you are a fan of creative arts, you might also consider leaving your assets to organizations that help artists, writers, dancers and many others.
Another reason to create an estate plan when you have no heirs is to ensure you receive the healthcare you want if you become incapacitated. Advance healthcare directives like a living will or healthcare power of attorney allow you to accept or reject medical treatments when you cannot speak your wishes aloud.
As you can see, estate planning can benefit yourself and others even if you do not have a family. We suggest learning more about the estate planning options available to Illinois residents.