Recently, we detailed about some options regarding planning for long-term care available to boomers in the Los Angeles area that do not have children. It is estimated that 20 percent of female boomers in California never had children. Most typically, individuals of both substantial and modest means will leave their estate for their children.
This then raises the question: What will happen to the estate of an individual without children in California? If an individual does not indicate what they would like done with their interests, property, money and other aspects of an estate, the decision regarding who gets what will be left up to the state.
One woman that never had children, and outlived both her husband and siblings, passed away with a $500,000 estate. Many wondered what would happen to her estate, but the woman had worked closely with an estate planning attorney to ensure that her last wishes would be observed.
After the woman's estate went through probate, seven charities received some wonderful news. While the woman did not choose to have children, she was an ardent lover of cats and birds. She was also a huge supporter of the Humane Society of the United States. Accordingly, the woman chose several local charities and the Humane Society to each receive a portion of her estate.
One charity overwhelmed by the generous nature of this animal lover that passed on said, "It's unbelievable, it's really overwhelming." The animal lover's legacy can now live on as her donations work to take care of more of the animals she so loved in her life.
Residents of Los Angeles, either with or without children, and of substantial or modest means, have similar options available at their disposal as well. Working with an estate planning attorney can ensure that the causes and people important to an individual in their lifetime are remembered in their passing.