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Preparing for estate administration with no obvious heirs

Just because a Georgia resident does not have a spouse or children does not mean that estate planning can be skipped. In fact, some would say that the need is more urgent. Without any immediate family to inherit an individual's assets, they could end up with the state if no other heirs can be found. Someone would need to handle the estate administration regardless of whether a will exists, and that person's job becomes more of a challenge. 

Instead, someone with no children -- or other immediate family -- could consider giving the estate to charity. A trust could be set up in order to allow the individual to see the fruits of giving during life as well. In the alternative, many people have siblings, parents or nieces and nephews they might leave an inheritance to in the manner they choose. Choosing someone to serve as executor of the estate might require more thought since it needs to be a trusted individual. However, it does not have to be a family member.

After accumulating wealth and assets during life, most people would not want their assets to simply end up in the coffers of the state of Georgia. The process might be more of a challenge than it is for those who are married with children, and that often keeps people from doing it. Even so, once successfully navigated, the individual would have some peace of mind that arrangements are made to deal with what is left behind.

Part of the difficulty for someone without children or a spouse is making these kinds of decisions. An estate-planning attorney could help determine a course of action that satisfies the individual. In addition, the process of estate administration could be made less of a challenge than it may be otherwise.

Source: CNBC, "Planning your estate when you've got no children or heirs", Sarah O'Brien, May 31, 2017

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