Texas is generally believed to be a family-oriented state and most estate plan strategies will be tailored to that fact. However, in today's world, there are an increasing number who choose not to have families even if there are two spouses who work. These people are known by the acronym of DINKs. This stands for dual income, no kids. For those who are choosing this lifestyle, there are still foundational necessities with an estate plan. There are various factors that need to be taken into consideration, especially to cater to this demographic.
Health care is a common worry. A health care directive will let the person name an agent to manage the daily finances and other matters if he or she becomes incapacitated. That can include medical decisions, caring for family members and more. It might be difficult to consider the time at which a person is incapacitated, but it is necessary to make sure all the wishes are carried out.
For people who fall into the DINK category, they might have extra money they would otherwise have spent on children. That can go to charities, to friends and other family members. With an estate plan, this can be accounted for efficiently and detail who will get what when the person has passed on. If there is no estate plan, the court will decide what will be done with the person's assets. Creating something like a charitable remainder trust can let the person live on the assets until they die, and subsequently distribute the rest to whom they want to have it.
Childless couples sometimes decide that they do not even want to get legally married. Living with someone without a wedding ring does not mean they should be forgotten when crafting an estate plan. There are numerous ways to protect the other partner with a will, a trust, and a power of attorney. This is beneficial in any situation, married or not.
Estate planning is often one of the most overlooked aspects of life. People who are not planning to have children or are not planning to marry might neglect this issue due to the lack of understanding as to the negatives that can result from not being prepared. DINK or not, a legal professional can help with estate planning.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, "DINKs Need Estate Planning Too," Patrick Carlson, May 30, 2017