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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Estate planning and asset distribution outside of family members

Preparing an estate plan can be either simple or complex depending on a person's assets and beneficiary list, but what about people who have no children or other close relatives to inherit their worldly goods? For this group of people, it often takes more thought than normal to decide who gets what in their wills. According to Bob Carter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, estate planning beyond family member beneficiaries is relatively new and signifies a generational shift.

Carter goes on to point out many of the women today choose to remain childless and many families are much smaller than in bygone days. With this new dynamic comes new choices about the way people choose to distribute their assets upon death, including charitable giving.

One woman from South Carolina says she plans to split her estate by leaving half to her grandniece and possibly her sisters while the other half will go to her favorite charities. She recommends forging relationships with charities and paying careful attention to the way they handle their donations before making a final decision and adding the charity to wills.

For a man and his wife from Pennsylvania, the decision was much simpler. They plan to leave their assets to a alcohol and drug rehab center which the man, an alcoholic, credits for saving his life. The couple wants the funds to go toward a scholarship for people who cannot afford to pay for treatment. Their donation will also include art worth up $35,000.

Creating wills and trusts is a personal experience for everyone and should never be undertaken lightly, but it's nice to know meaningful options exist for childless people. Since it can take some time to decide the best way to distribute property, estate planning attorneys and financial experts recommend getting started as soon as possible.

Source: The Stanly News and Press, "In Estate Planning, Family Isn’t Always First" Caitlin Kelly, May. 02, 2014

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