Childless Couples Also Need Estate Plans

Married couples today that have dual incomes and no children often think that they do not need to do any estate planning. They are wrong.

Estate planning has traditionally been thought to primarily serve two important interests:  1) It was a way for parents to provide for the well-being of their children, particularly any minor children, in case something happened to the parents; and 2) It was also thought of as a way to provide for a spouse who did not have an income of his or her own.  

Today, however, many couples who get married are choosing not to have any children.  Both spouses often also have a decent income of their own. These couples are sometimes referred to as "Dual-income no kids", or "DINKs" for short.

Since the two traditional reasons do not apply to them, they often think they do not really need estate plans.

They are wrong, as Wealth Management points out in "DINKs Need Estate Planning Too."

Couples where both spouses have incomes and no children still need to determine what will happen to their assets after they pass away.  Without an estate plan, the assets of the first spouse who dies will typically go to the surviving spouse.  However, what will happen to the assets after the second spouse passes?

That is not clear.  It is also not clear what would happen if both spouses died in the same accident.

Couples without children might want to set up charitable trusts.  They might want to make sure certain that other family members receive - or do not receive - an inheritance from them.

These couples might also want to do something completely out of the ordinary.  Without an estate plan in place, their final wishes will not be carried out.

Reference: Wealth Management (May 30, 2017) "DINKs Need Estate Planning Too."

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