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Estate planning for unmarried, child-free Illinois residents

More and more individuals are choosing never to marry or to settle down. That doesn't mean they don't spend many happy years doing the things they enjoy, having solid careers and building fulfilling lives. Such Illinois residents should still consider giving thought to estate planning. Having one's personal affairs in order is essential whether one is married or not or whether one has children or not.

Most unmarried individuals have family members who would become beneficiaries of their estates. People still need to have estate planning documents -- like wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies -- in place. If family members are thousands of miles away, some of these duties might be entrusted to honest, reliable and trustworthy friends. In any case, estate planning documents should be updated as life circumstances change.

According to the latest statistics, 20% of adults age 25 and older have never married. Some people don't feel the need to address estate planning until they have kids, but for some that never happens. Frankly, it may be even more crucial for single, child-free individuals to spell out what they want to have happen to their assets because the decision isn't obvious.

No matter what the estate planning issues are, an Illinois attorney may be able to help a client to decide what should be included in his or her estate plan. If unmarried people without children do not specify what their last wishes are, state laws will do it for them. There are definitive  genealogical rules of inheritance in place. 

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