In what some experts view as a troubling trend, fewer women in the United States are having children. As a case in point, The Washington Post once cited data indicating that less than 4 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2017. The number of births in the U.S. that year was reportedly the lowest in thirty years. It also reflected a 2 percent decrease from the number of U.S. births in 2016.
The U.S. statistics for 2018 also show nearly 80 percent of women ages 20 to 24 did not have children. More than half of women ages 25 to 29 did not have children, and more than one-third of women ages 30 to 34 did not have children.
In some cases women can have children, but make the highly personal decision not to do so. In others, women, or couples, simply cannot have biological children. Either way, it begs a question. How does someone leave a legacy in their estate planning if they do not have children?
While you may be concerned let us share that even if you do not have children, it is still important to create an estate plan. What is an estate plan? It is a strategy to protect you in both life and death that is laid out in a set of legal and financial documents which can protect you if you are unable to make decisions or express your wishes. For example, if you were in a car accident, who would have the legal authority to pay your bills or talk to your doctor?
Your estate plan also allows you to specify what should happen to your assets after you die. An essential piece of any estate plan is your last will and testament, and possibly your trust agreement. Both of these legal documents can be used to explain, “who gets what” after you die. If you do not have any children, you may not feel it is necessary to create either of these documents because you do not have any heirs. This is not necessarily true, however, because there is nothing stopping you from leaving your assets to family members, your alma mater, or even your favorite charity. Further, if you ultimately have no chosen beneficiary at the time of your passing, your possessions will be distributed in accordance with Florida law.
You may be wondering how you can create a legacy? If you want to create a legacy, a popular way to do so is by leaving money to your favorite charity or charities. You may even want to create your own.
The option that is best for you will depend on your own unique circumstances. Along with qualified financial professionals, as Florida estate planning attorneys, we can help you identify the best way to create a meaningful and lasting legacy, even if you do not have children. Do not wait to take the first step by calling our law firm to schedule a meeting at any time.