When you have no kids
If you have no children, your estate planning will be different than if you did have them.
There are two big differences:
Whom to leave assets to
Many people leave their assets to their children. But without children, this question becomes more difficult.
Some leave their assets to their parents. But many times the parents are both deceased by the time a person does their MA estate planning using a will or trust.
More often, their siblings are living. But sometimes a sibling does not have a great relationship with the MA resident doing their estate planning. Or, the sibling has much more assets than the person signing their estate first or revised estate planning documents.
Sometimes a sibling has an addiction. Maybe one of several siblings has died before you and you don't have much contact with those particular niece or nephew.
Some people decide in their MA estate planning to leave assets to cousins, or maybe children of cousins.
Other people think hard about which charity or charities they feel are important. Every year many charities, both Massachusetts based or national in scope, receive quite a bit of assets from those whom leave no children and no relatives that need the money.
Whom to put in charge
Another issue frequently faced by those whom have no children, and those without adult children as well, is there's no obvious person to put in charge of your affairs after your passing. Or incapacity if that occurs.
Many times professionals such as accountants or attorneys would be good choices, because they are detailed minded and have a feel for issues and numbers.
But the malpractice insurance carriers for these professionals do not approve of coverage for the post death work involved as a MA personal representative, executor, or trustee.
So, you likely will need to find a relative, frequently a sibling, to take over for you if the needed arises.
Sometimes a person will open an account currently with a financial institution that can act as the personal representative or executor or trustee.
But such institutions will commonly require a large amount of money to be placed into management now by the estate planning individual. And a minimum account size of $1 million to start that relationship is commonly encountered.