If one has a child, it is often the case that they want their child to inherit their assets when one passes away. Therefore, those with children may execute a will or trust to ensure this happens. However, estate planning is important for anyone, including those who do not have children. This is because without an estate plan, the state will determine who will inherit one’s assets and make decisions on their behalf.

Therefore, childless persons in Colorado should still execute a will or trust. This way, they can ensure that a beloved relative or friend inherits their estate or that their estate go to a favorite charity following their death. But, a comprehensive estate plan includes more than just a will or trust. It can also address end-of-life issues regarding health care and finances.

For example, an advanced directive for health care — sometimes referred to as a living will — can delineate what life-saving measures one wants, should they face a terminal illness or are otherwise unable to express one’s preferences. If one cannot make these decisions because they are incapacitated, an advanced directive for health care can let loved ones know their wishes.

In addition, childless couples will want to execute a durable power of attorney both for health care and finances. The person named in these documents will make decisions regarding health care and will manage finances, should one become incapacitated. Without these documents, the court will appoint a person to fulfill these important roles, so if one has a preference, it is best to include these documents in an estate plan.

As this shows, there are good reasons to execute a comprehensive estate plan, even if one does not have children. Most people have an idea of who they want to inherit their estate, as well as preferences for how they want their health care and financial interests handled if they are no longer able to express these preferences themselves. While thinking about one’s mortality is not always easy, executing an estate plan can benefit not only themselves, but also their loved ones.