In recent years, it has become more common for couples to decide not to have children. If this is the decision you have made, the question arises as to who will care for you in your senior years. While there is never a guarantee that having children will mean that they will care for you when you are in need, it is often expected that children will play some role in providing your care. With childless couples, it is important to understand that you have an even greater need to plan for your future care.
It is important for all individuals to have a healthcare proxy or healthcare agent, but even more so for childless people. A healthcare proxy permits another individual to view your medical records and make any necessary medical decisions on your behalf. Appointing a healthcare proxy involves a fairly simple and inexpensive document to be completed, which is surprising when you consider the amount of protection it affords to you.
When naming your healthcare agent, it is important to select somebody you trust and who has a comprehensive understanding of your wishes. You are not allowed to appoint your physician, nurse, social worker, or an owner of a health care facility where you are being cared for. The only exception to this general rule is if you are related to the individual by blood, marriage or adoption.
Other considerations for childless individuals are whether to purchase long-term care insurance. Having this type of policy can help ensure that you can afford the type of care you want when your health begins to decline. Additionally, childless couples should create an estate plan that sets forth how their assets will be distributed upon their death. Many of our clients who have no children favor charitable gifts. You can only accomplish this with a proper estate plan.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.