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No Kids? There are still plenty of estate planning needs to cover

When most Philadelphia residents think about estate planning, they focus on the transfer of wealth from one generation to another. This is the primary estate planning goal for many families, but it is not the only area of focus that exists. For couples who do not have children, a different approach needs to be taken, one that focuses more on the projected and potential needs of the couple.

One area of estate planning that is often overlooked involves advance care planning. Very few people relish the idea that they might end up in an assisted living facility, and plenty of discussions center on how that is simply not going to happen, no matter what. In reality, however, individuals without kids often have no one to look after them as they age, which can lead to a number of outcomes that are undesirable.

It is also important to note that not all assisted living facilities are created equal. There are options that are incredibly appealing, with beautiful living spaces, plenty of organized activities and a highly trained staff to address increasing needs as residents move through the aging process. There are even facilities where couples can move in together, and can remain living in the same space as a family unit.

The best way to ensure that this level of care is available if and when it is needed is through advance planning. There are insurance policies available for long term care needs, and those policies are less expensive when purchased early. In addition, there are a number of estate planning measures that can help couples protect their hard-earned assets while also making long-term care assistance possible. Each Philadelphia family will have a unique set of needs, but an estate planning attorney will be able to assist in structuring the best possible blend of wills, trusts and insurance to meet those needs.

Source:, "Just the Two of Us: Estate Planning for the Childless Dual-Income Household", Jamie A. Downes, Jan. 9, 2016

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