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Estate planning without children might be challenging

There are many different challenging situations that come up when you are creating an estate plan. For adults who haven't had children, there are some unique obstacles that must be faced. In many cases, these individuals might think that they don't need an estate plan, but this is far from the truth.

All adults need an estate plan. Here are some important considerations for people who don't have any children who can benefit from the transfer of assets after you die:

You have options for heirs

Just because you don't have children doesn't mean that you don't have options about who is going to get what you've worked hard for. You do have choices to make right now so that you can ensure your wishes are being followed.

You might decide to leave everything to another relative. Your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles might be able to put what you leave to them to good use. You also have the option of leaving assets to a favorite charity or group of charities.

There is also the possibility of putting your assets to work for you now. You might choose to put them into an annuity account so that they can give you a benefit while you are still alive. You would have a regular income from them.

Consider tax implications

The tax implications of the estate plan are a big consideration. You have to make sure that the taxes don't take up the majority of what you leave to someone else. Learn your options to address high value estates. In some cases, establishing a trust or more than one might accomplish this.

There isn't any reason why your loved ones or other heirs should have to wait until you are gone to start getting assets from you if you are worried about tax considerations. You can give annual gifts to individuals and charities up to a certain amount each year. The limit changes annually, so make sure you find out what this is so you don't go over it.

Don't neglect other issues

You also need to make sure that you have someone who can stand in your stead for financial and health care decisions if you can't make those choices yourself. The individual or individuals you choose for these duties need to have the power of attorney for finances or for health care. You also need to establish a living will and possibly leave a letter of instruction to ensure that your wishes are conveyed.

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