Single parents with minor children need a strong estate plan in place for a variety of reasons. The laws concerning estates are generally made with married couples in mind. When your child’s mother or father is estranged, or living in another state, or even if they live in the same city and you are on friendly terms, the fact that you don’t share assets and aren’t considered married poses a problem in estate planning.
The most common estate planning for single parents issue is who will assume guardianship of your child in the event of your death. The other custodial parent is the obvious choice if they are reliable and responsible, but if they aren’t, you need to decide between your children’s grandparents or even a family friend. All of these wishes need to be officially documented or the foster care system of the state in which you live will get more of a say in their care than you do.
Another common concern is willing assets of any value to a child. Whether it’s money, a house or car, how will they care for it? How do you make sure they use it responsibly? A trust can help with these concerns, since it can be structured in a way that it’s looked after and cared for until your children are a certain age. You can even add additional stipulations if you wish, such as graduating high school or college.
A great solution is to create a Trust that will handle those matters quickly and easily with no delay. As your attorney, I will guide and counsel you of things to consider in making plans for you and your children.
You also need to think about what happens to your child if you remain alive but affected by a serious medical condition such as illness or accident. Who should care for your child while you are in the hospital and what are their responsibilities? Having all of this decided in advance means that life will be as normal as possible for your child until you are well again.
Do you have a plan in place for your children? Over the past 32 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.