When you are a single parent of minor children, you must take action to put an estate plan in place. There is absolutely no way that you can responsibly go through life without making provisions for the well-being of your children if you were to pass away.
This is true regardless of your age. Of course, we all expect to watch our children become adults in their own right, but there are no guarantees. Individuals pass away in accidents and due to sudden catastrophic health conditions each and every day. As sad as it may be, many of them have minor children, and some of them are single parents.
Our attorneys can provide you with the guidance you need. In this post, we will take a look at four things that every single parent should consider.
If you are a single parent, you should include your choice of guardian for your children when you are planning your estate. In the event of your passing, the state would be forced to decide on the fate of your children if you do not assert your own wishes in a legally binding manner.
How would your children get by financially if you were no longer around to care for them? It is important to make sure that you have made provisions for the well-being of your children from a financial perspective. We would recommend the purchase of life insurance to serve as an income replacement vehicle.
As a single parent, you should make sure that you have the appropriate incapacity planning documents in place. One of these legal devices is called a living will. This type will has nothing to do with financial assets. In a living will, you state your wishes with regard to the use of life-support systems if you are ever in a terminal condition with no hope of recovery.
Durable powers of attorney will also be part of a well-constructed incapacity plan. With a durable power of attorney for health care, you name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. You can also have a durable financial power of attorney to empower an agent to handle your financial decision making if you become unable to manage your own affairs.
Revocable Living Trust
Since a minor child would not be able to legally accept an inheritance and manage funds, you could establish a revocable living trust as an asset transfer vehicle. While you are living, you could act as the trustee and the beneficiary, and your children would be the successor beneficiaries. You would also act as the trustee throughout your life.
In the trust declaration, you would name a successor trustee to manage the assets on behalf of the children if it becomes necessary. While you can name anyone that you would like, many people will choose to utilize a professional fiduciary entity such as a trust company to administer the funds.
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If you are going through life as a single parent without an estate plan in place, action is required sooner rather than later. Would be more than glad to gain understanding of your situation, explain your options to you, and help you put the ideal plan in place that protects her children come what may.
You can send us a message through our contact page to request an appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 586-493-7661.