Keep these strategies and considerations in mind.
“No Kids” Shouldn’t Mean “No Estate Plan”
Regardless of your family situation, it’s important to have certain estate planning essentials in place so that your legacy is left the way you intend.
Estate planning can sometimes feel overwhelming, and those without children or close family members may be especially uncertain about where to begin. You may feel as though there isn’t an obvious choice for who should receive your estate, execute your will or make important decisions if you become incapacitated.
Not knowing the “perfect” way to craft an estate plan may lead you to do nothing at all – but this is a huge mistake, regardless of the size of your estate. Remember, if you pass away intestate, or without a will in place, your assets and property may fall to the direction of state statutes and the probate courts.
While estate planning can raise difficult questions – even for people with close family ties – there are a few key decisions you should make right away, even in the face of uncertainty:
Choose an executor for your estate. Options exist beyond family members and friends, including lawyers, banks, and other planning professionals. It’s also possible to appoint both a corporation and an individual to serve as co-executors, or name a corporation as agent for the executor, offering an assist to this important role. Your advisor can help you weigh your options, and they can also contact a Raymond James Trust consultant for additional support.
Create a living will. The document states your wishes should you be placed on life support or suffer from a terminal condition. Having it in place ensures that your physicians are aware of the action you want taken in the face of difficult end-of-life decisions.
Name a healthcare proxy or power of attorney. This person will be tasked with making decisions about your health in scenarios not covered by your living will. As with your executor, you have the ability to ask a non-relative, such as a third-party professional or clergyperson, if they're willing to accept the responsibility.
Select beneficiaries for your 401(k) plans and life insurance policies. These won’t pass through your will, so you need to be clear about where you want your assets to go. Having trouble deciding who should receive your legacy? Think about your passions in life and consider tying your assets to charities for those causes. As with the other roles listed here, your advisor can help you consider your options.
Having these decisions in place is an important first step to ensuring your estate is left the way you intend, regardless of your family situation. Be sure to review your selections regularly in case your circumstances change.
Raymond James corporate
Privacy Notice │ BrokerCheck®
Retirement and Longevity
Family & Lifestyle
Share something of significance and pass on so much more than money.
Financial Advisors offer securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and securities are not insured by credit union insurance, the NCUA or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal. First Tech Federal Credit Union and Addison Avenue Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.
Raymond James Financial Advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state. Investors outside of the United States are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this site. Contact your local Raymond James office for information and availability.
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.