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    Joshua and Laura Meier Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys Focused on Helping Families with Young Kids
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    Monthly Archives: March 2016

    5 Estate Planning Strategies for Child-Free Couples

    I got a call recently from my good friend, Robyn D’Angelo.  She’s a couples therapist and relationship coach known as the Happy Couple Expert.

    Robyn was calling to invite me to speak, along with 21+ experts from different fields, at an upcoming online GLOBAL Summit for DINKS– which refers to couples who have Double Income No Kids.

    My initial response was “Robyn, you do know that I have a million kids and that I’m known in my industry for helping families with young children?”  But, as she pointed out, our estate planning strategies are useful to every adult who wants to take control of their future, not just parents.

    I want to share with you here, the top 5 estate planning strategies for all of the DINKS you know out there, that I’ll be talking about at the GLOBAL summit that starts April 11th.  Details are in our current newsletter under Upcoming Events and at meierevents.com.

    By the way, if you are a DINK couple by choice or chance, or know a fabulous DINK couple who wants to create an epic relationship with their partner, you can click here to learn more about the GLOBAL summit and register.

    Here are the top 5 estate planning strategies child-free couples should consider:

    1. Planning for future kids. Many couples foresee kids in their future, and many couples do not.  If you will probably have kids in the next three years, your estate plan should address this scenario.  I use the word “probably” vs. “possibly” because really a good estate plan addresses what we know today, and what will probably happen in the future. If having kids is only a remote possibility or not in the cards at all, you should not address having children in your current plan. You can always change your plan down the road if something changes.
    2. Choosing Your Beneficiaries. Child-free couples should set up an estate plan to address who they want to benefit from them if they pass away. If they do not, the law says where their money will go and often times this does not reflect who the couple would have chosen.  Are you involved in a charity?  Do you have nieces and nephews you love?  None of these people or groups, despite being incredibly import to you, would be your beneficiaries under California’s default laws.  You need to take control and choose who you want through your own private planning.
    3. Medical Access. Our state and federal privacy laws preclude your loved ones from getting information on you if you were in a hospital and could not communicate. It’s essential that you complete medical directives that not only state your medical wishes, but also firmly state what important people in your life you would like to authorize doctors to speak with in an emergency.
    4. Passing Separate Property. It’s not unusual for child-free couples to keep their assets, like their bank accounts or investment accounts, separate from their partners. This can cause a huge problem if one spouse passes away, and has to then go through a long and expensive court process known as probate just to get their late spouses assets. Estate Planning can allow you to continue to hold your assets separately if you choose, but automatically pass to your surviving spouse if you pass away through a trust.
    5. Asset Protection. Many child-free couples would want their spouse to benefit from them if they passed away, but would not necessarily want the surviving spouse to give the late spouse’s money away to a new spouse. Instead they may want it to go back to their own family or a favorite charity.  Estate planning allows child-free couples to place restrictions and protections on the money that is passed after one’s death while still supporting the surviving spouse during their lifetime.

    If you want to learn more about how to properly set up an estate plan that ensures all of your wishes would be carried out the way you want, call your Newport Beach estate planning law firm today.  Mention this article and receive a free Planning Session when you schedule by April 29, 2016. Call Bonnie Johnson at (949) 718-0420.

    Also, don’t forget to register by clicking here for the free online GLOBAL summit designed to help child-free couples create an epic relationship! Invite your child-free family members and friends today!




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    phone: 949.718.0420 e-mail: office@meierfirm.com