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Why child-free couples need wills and trusts

Everyone knows that planning for the future is smart. Yet, many Virginia families often procrastinate when it comes to planning for the inevitable event of death. This is especially true for couples who have no children. However, even child-free families need to think about estate planning. Here's why child-free spouses should strongly consider creating wills and trusts.

All couples should have a will, especially those without kids. No children means there are no natural heirs to inherit assets upon death. Typically, assets would go to a spouse, but what if both spouses die? Without a will, probate courts would determine where assets end up. Childless spouses need to compile a will and make their wishes known.

Couples who have no children sometimes want to leave assets to organizations that have augmented their lives, such as charities, religious organizations or college alma maters. Trusts can be set up to make sure that money goes where intended. One popular type of trust for this scenario is called a charitable remainder trust, which allows an individual to access the trust's assets while alive and upon death, then the remaining balance would go to a predetermined charity. Another option is a charitable lead trust, which allows a charity to use the income that the trust generates until the trustor's death.

Death is never an easy subject to discuss. However, estate planning is something that should never be put off, even for couples who have no children. Virginia residents who have questions regarding wills and trusts, or any aspect of estate planning, could gain clarity and guidance by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced legal representative.

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