Adults who don't have children might wonder why they should have an estate plan in place. They might not have anyone that is counting on their support when they pass away. Even if you don't have any dependents, you can still set up the estate plan.
One thing to remember when you are in this position is that not having an estate plan means that the state's intestate laws will apply to your assets. The state has a predetermined method of distributing things if you pass away without an estate plan. If you don't have anyone who meets the criteria, the assets remain with the state.
How do I designate assets for heirs?
Most people choose to start their estate plan by looking at their assets. If you have some that you need to pass along through a trust, such as ones that you don't want to pass through the probate process, you need to take care of those first. Any assets that are left can be named in the will. You will have to assign each one to a person.
What other estate plan components should I consider?
You also need to think about what is going to happen to you. While much of the estate plan consists of things for other people, the living will, medical directives and powers of attorney designations are there to protect you. In the living will and medical directives, you outline what you are willing to accept for medical care, including whether you want life support or to accept blood products. In the powers of attorney, you give someone else power to make financial or medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
If you truly don't have anyone that you want to pass things along to, you have the option of making charitable gifts. These can be outlined in your estate plan, so be sure you think about all the possibilities before you put everything in writing.