When considering estate planning or planning for care, both individuals and couples are well-served to consider their own long term care needs and the associated expenses. While everyone’s situation and planning needs are unique, there are some common concerns that tend to arise for individuals or couples who do not have children.
For example, you might wonder who will care for you, or to whom you should you leave your estate. If you have these concerns, you should know that your estate planning attorney can help. Be sure to contact your estate planning attorney to ensure that your worries and wishes are addressed if you relate to one or more of the following circumstances:
Who Will Care for You?
Who will care for you if you are unable to care for yourself? While parents can often count on their adult children to fill this role, you might consider relying on nieces, nephews, close friends or their children, or paid caregivers. This is an important point to contemplate, and one that requires special consideration in planning. You may wish to investigate potential caregivers in advance so that, when the time comes, your wishes with respect to paid caregivers are followed. To this end, executing a revocable living trust can offer protections and ensure that your wishes regarding caregivers are followed. You might also consider drafting a letter of intent or other memorandum to your trustee, outlining your wishes for long term care.
You Might Have a Larger Savings
Children are expensive, and can present costs associated with raising them through age eighteen to financing things like college and weddings. Someone without children might have a greater opportunity to accumulate wealth and maximize retirement savings, all else being equal. If you have larger savings, you might consider taking advantage of the opportunity to plan for the things that mean the most to you, including your pets or favorite charities. For example, you might consider setting up a trust to ensure any pets are taken care of in the event you pass away, or setting up a charitable legacy, foundation, or scholarship to further a cause that is important to you.
You Might Prefer to Spend that Savings on Your Long-Term Care
If you have larger savings, you might be in a better position to finance your own long-term care, especially because preserving assets for the next generation might be a lower priority. Without the worry of preserving assets for a younger generation, you might be in a position to afford the highest quality of care. Finally, assuming that continuing to have the ability to afford the highest quality care is a priority, you may be concerned that those who might inherit from you may try to sacrifice your quality of care in order to preserve an inheritance. A properly drafted estate plan will address this concern and can ensure that your funds are used solely for your benefit, in your regular custom of living, even to the point of exhausting any funds that might otherwise be set aside for remainder beneficiaries.
To learn more about the specific concerns typically associated with estate planning as an individual or couple without children, and how these concerns can be properly addressed, contact Mammel Law at 248-644-6326.