If you do not have children, it isn’t possible to follow the standard practice of caring for your spouse and your offspring when considering an estate plan. Exploring the options when childless requires a bit more thinking, according to The New York Times in "If You Don't Have Children, What Do You Leave Behind?"
People without children still need to have estate plans. Otherwise, everything they have at the time of their death will pass to their closest living relatives, as determined by state laws. For some people that might be an acceptable outcome. However, most people would prefer choosing where their assets are going to go.
Without children of their own, people have almost unlimited options. They can leave assets for their nieces and nephews, if they wish. They can leave things to other favorite family members or friends. They can also leave assets to any charitable cause they want to support.
Estate planning for people without children might require making different decisions. However, that also allows for more freedom than the norm. That freedom has its own benefits.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating a plan that fits your particular circumstances and may or may not include children.
Reference: New York Times (February 27, 2017) "If You Don't Have Children, What Do You Leave Behind?"