Estate planning is an important aspect that must be addressed by every parent. In the case of a single parent, it becomes more important because the child of a single parent does not have another parent to rely on. In case of a single parent’s untimely death, children need to know they will be taken care of. This can be achieved through effective estate plan by hiring an experienced estate planning lawyer. It will give you peace of mind knowing your children will be cared for in your absence.
Estate Planning Basic Guidelines for Single Parents
There are some basic guidelines to follow when looking to create an estate plan for your children. First, you should appoint a guardian for your children. In cases where the other parent survives you, the other parent may have legal rights to custody of your child. If you do not appoint a guardian for your children, a court will have the discretion to appoint a guardian, which might not be the person you choose to raise your children. When you nominate a guardian in your Will, you are choosing an individual who would bring up your children in case you are not there for them.
Second, you need to make certain your children’s financial needs are taken care of. Minors are not legally entitled to inherit property. In the absence of an effective estate plan, your assets could potentially be tied up in the probate process, which may take considerable amount of time. Also, a court may appoint a conservator for the distribution of your assets, which can be both expensive and time consuming.
These reasons make it important to set up a trust by hiring a competent estate planning lawyer in order to prevent probate process and provide your children access to your funds to support their financial needs. You will want to be sure to appoint a trustworthy and competent person to manage your assets in your children’s trust.
Lastly, it is important to hire services of a skillful estate planning lawyer to not only help you to create an effective estate plan, but to help you sort out how your retirement accounts, life insurance, and other assets can best be structured to give maximum benefit to your child. The lawyer can also help you understand tax issues related to your assets.
In addition to these matters, the estate planning lawyer should discuss with you the use of a general, durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will to keep everything in order in case you become disabled or incapacitated.
If you wish to get further information regarding estate planning basics for single parents, contact the offices of John Grundy at 330-637-9030 to schedule a free consultation session with an experienced estate planning lawyer.