Single parents, have you put an estate plan in place? We know that when you are managing kids, a household, work, and everyday responsibilities on your own, this may fall below your normal priority list. Estate planning, however, is too important to put off. This may be especially true for single parents. Often, single parents are the sole caregiver and provider for their children. Because of this, it becomes extra important that you put an estate plan in place which provides your children with the continued support they need regardless of what the future may hold for you.
Single Parents and Estate Planning
An uncertain future can be anxiety-inducing under any circumstances. As a parent, you may worry about what the future holds for you and your children. Estate planning can help ease much of that anxiety by putting legal protections and plans in place for what should happen in the event of things such as death or incapacitation of you, the parent. While such a prospect may be unpleasant to think about, consider the peace of mind that can come with knowing your children will be cared for and supported no matter what.
In your estate plan, you can name a guardian for your children who will care for them in the event that you die or become incapacitated. If there is not another parent in the picture, this can be critical. Without a guardian named in your estate plan, the courts will be left to decide who should serve in this role of great responsibility. When you create your estate plan, you have the opportunity to make your own selection for who should serve as guardian to your children.
You can also put tools in place to provide your children with continued financial support. For instance, you can review your options for obtaining life insurance. You may also want to consider establishing a trust where you can transfer assets to be managed by a trustee for the benefit of your children. You can even detail when distributions should be made from the trust to your children. You can tailor the distribution terms of the trust so that the specific needs of your children are fulfilled and the corpus of the trust is not spent rapidly away. You can also condition trust distributions to only occur under certain circumstances, such as when your child enrolls in college.
In addition to these planning considerations, you can also develop an estate plan that considers the possibility that you will go on to remarry. When you remarry with children, estate planning can be complicated and requires special attention to certain details. For instance, do you want to provide for your new spouse as well as your children in your estate planning documents? What kind of complications can arise if your new spouse has children from a previous marriage? These are important questions to find answers to and address in your estate plan.
Estate Planning Attorneys
At Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace, we design strong estate plans with you in mind. Our comprehensive estate plans take into consideration your unique circumstances as well as your wishes for the future. Contact us today.