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Deciding who your heirs will be if you are childless

| Nov 1, 2021 | Estate Planning

Whether you are single or married, if you are living in Georgia and have no children, you need to decide who will inherit your financial assets, real estate, valuables and other significant items when you die. It’s not always an obvious choice when you have no direct descendants

You may have relatives you are not close to that just don’t seem suitable to inherit from you. Maybe some of your kin are already well-off, and you feel they do not need anything from you after your death. Perhaps you are not comfortable leaving irreplaceable heirlooms of great personal, sentimental or family value to just anyone in your extended family.

These tough decisions still must be made. 

First, you should have an executor that you have faith in to carry out your wishes exactly as expressed in your will. That person should be attentive to details and deadlines, be skilled at dealing with people (especially in emotionally fraught situations or if there are squabbles between family members), have unquestionable integrity, and get the job completed satisfactorily.

Things to contemplate if you are in this situation

Thinking this issue through logically, step-by-step, can help you sort it out.

  • Do you have brothers or sisters who are candidates to inherit from you?
  • Are there humanitarian organizations or charities you could leave money to?
  • How about your extended family, such as uncles, cousins or aunts? 
  • Which family members would you be comfortable leaving assets to?
  • Do you or your spouse, if you have one, have parents that you can designate as heirs?

The court will rule on the dispersal of your assets if you fail to. It’s preferable to make these decisions yourself rather than allowing the court to do it. If you are unsure of the law pertaining to such matters, engage someone who can inform you and resolve your concerns.