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Estate planning for couples without children

Many couples in Tennessee choose to build their family unit around each other, and make the decision to not have children. For these families, estate planning needs differ from those of a family with one or more kids and grandchildren. Within the estate planning industry, these couples are known as "DINK" families, which stands for Dual Income No Kids. These couples may not be focused on passing down wealth to children or grandchildren, but they still need to address estate planning in a timely manner.

One of the risks that DINK couples share is a lack of family members to care for them as they age. While having kids is certainly no guarantee that parents will be looked after in their later years, there is a measure of security that comes with having a big family to call upon in times of need. For DINK couples, a more proactive long term care plan is necessary.

An estate planning attorney can work with a couple to determine the best way to address long term care and other estate needs. Some couples will benefit from creating a trust to ensure that the surviving spouse will have the financial security needed to live out the rest of his or her years. Long term care insurance is also a powerful tool for DINK couples and is an available option.

It should also be mentioned that just because a couple has no kids does not mean that they don't need to draft wills. A will is an excellent means of distributing wealth or items of personal property to friends, loved ones and charitable organizations. For families in Tennessee that are comprised of two adults, estate planning should be a top priority.

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

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