If you don’t have children, what do you leave behind?


How do people without children create a legacy after their death? Marci Alboher, married but without children,  tried to answer this question while filling out a questionnaire from her estate planning lawyer.  She reached clarity about how she wants to live.  Read the complete NYT article:

By Marci Alboher | New York Times

The questionnaire from the estate lawyer has been sitting on my desk for six months. “Just focus on the hit-by-a-bus version,” he advised, knowing wills tend to fall to the bottom of everyone’s list. “You can always update it.”

Still, I’m paralyzed. My husband and I don’t have children, so the options feel endless. How can I provide for my nephew and other close family and friends who feel like family? Should I put aside money for anyone’s education?

I think that wills are easier for parents because they have a natural push — the need to name guardians for their children and provide financially for them after they are gone. On the surface it’s about who gets your stuff, but it got me thinking about ways people without children create a legacy. Who will remember us?

Sarah Murray thought extensively about her legacy when researching her book “Making an Exit,” an exploration of death rituals from different cultures. In the final chapter, she lays out an elaborate plan to have a pile of her ashes scattered in seven locations around the world that were formative in her life. As a serious traveler, and a single person without children, she wants to provide grants to a group of volunteer applicants and spark in them the magic of travel. [read entire article]

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