Not all people have children. Illinois residents who don't have kids still need to take the time for estate planning. People still need to stipulate how they would like their assets divided upon their deaths since dying intestate -- or without a will -- can cause all kinds of problems whether there are children in the picture or not.
The spouse of a married person who dies usually inherits assets if there are no children, yet it is still crucial to have estate planning documents in place. Single people without children who die need to make it known who their beneficiaries should be or the assets could end up going to someone the deceased would not have chosen. All estate plans should at least contain wills and powers of attorney.
Beneficiaries for single individuals without children often are siblings, nieces and nephews or good friends. Single folks also often choose to leave some of their assets to a favorite charity. Whatever people's wishes are, writing them down in an estate plan can save a myriad of potential estate problems.
Estate planning doesn't have to be difficult. An Illinois lawyer who has experience with the laws that govern estate planning can explain the merits of have a well-rounded plan no matter if a client is married with children or single and childless. An attorney is also able to help draft living trusts, come up with a plan to avoid or to mitigate estate taxes and work to ensure his or her client's assets are safe from beneficiaries' creditors.