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Estate planning when children aren’t involved

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Estate Planning

Just because a couple or an individual is childless doesn’t mean estate plans should be put on hold. Many single residents and childless Ontario couples should still consider estate planning since assets must go somewhere after one’s passing. For those who don’t have children, there are a few things to know about how this process would apply to them.

Dying without a will

If an individual has no children, there are certain things that will happen if he or she dies without a will:

  • If the person is married, the estate assets will pass to his or her spouse or common-law partner.
  • If the person is not married or in a common-law partnership, the estate will go to the testator’s parents equally.
  • If the individual isn’t married and his or her parents are deceased, the person’s next of kin — brothers and/or sisters — will inherit the assets of the estate. If any of the brothers or sisters are deceased, their share is inherited by their children.

As witnessed above, it can get complicated when someone dies intestate, and it may only make matters more stressful for loved ones and family members. When there are no beneficiaries, a testator may choose to leave assets to charity, which can lessen the estate’s payable taxes. There are also other issues to consider, such as RRSPs and TFSAs — matters for which legal advice could prove beneficial.

Children are a main reason for creating a comprehensive estate plan, but many Ontario residents who don’t have kids should still consider the benefits of establishing estate plans as well. An experienced lawyer can carefully analyze one’s unique situation to help determine the most adequate means of ensuring one’s future wishes are honored while also minimizing the odds of future issues and complications.

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