A life milestone like the impending birth often motivates a couple to sit down and engage in estate planning. Unexpected outcomes can happen at any time for anyone, though.
It’s equally essential for childless married couples to document their final wishes as well.
What happens if you pass away without a will?
Most states’ intestate succession laws, including Arizona, call for spouses to inherit their deceased husband or wife’s assets upon their death if they don’t have a will. Your parents, siblings and other distant relatives may inherit your assets if you and your spouse die simultaneously and you don’t have a will, however.
If this doesn’t suit your goals, then you should draft a will dictating your preferences, whether you plan to leave what you have to a friend, charity or something else.
What estate planning documents do you need besides a will?
You should draft a living will outlining the medical care that you want to receive if you become unable to voice your own decisions. You’ll also want to prepare a health care directive authorizing someone else to voice these medical decisions on your behalf.
Taking time to review your retirement account and insurance policy beneficiary designations is also an essential part of the estate planning process. Drafting a financial power of attorney (POA) is also necessary as this allows the person you designate the ability to pay your bills and take care of your investments if you’re not able to do so yourself.
Why is estate planning particularly critical for childless couples?
While every adult needs to have a will and other estate planning documents in place, it’s even more so for childless couples due to how intestate succession laws work. An attorney can help you navigate the Arizona estate planning process here in Goodyear so that your final wishes prevail in the end.