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Estate planning considerations for single parents

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Estate Planning |

With the entire burden of caring for your family resting on your shoulders as a single parent, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive estate plan to ensure that your children will be looked after.  

Your estate plan will likely be more than just a basic document. Instead, you will need it if something were to happen to you. to consider several components, so you have peace of mind knowing your children will be raised as you intended. 

A will is the cornerstone

A will is essential for stating your wishes concerning the distribution of your assets and the guardianship of your children. It won’t cover everything. Other methods, including payable-on-death designations govern certain assets. If you have life insurance or retirement accounts, those assets will go to the named beneficiary, regardless of what your will states.

The urgency of naming a guardian

As a single parent, one of the most immediate concerns in estate planning is naming a guardian for your minor children. If you don’t and something happens to you, the court will appoint someone. This may not be the person you would have chosen. 

It’s critical to discuss this decision with the potential guardian to ensure they are willing and able to take on this significant responsibility. Also, consider naming a backup guardian if your first choice can’t serve.

Powers of attorney

Naming a power of attorney for health care and another for finances can also help to protect your children. These go into effect if you become incapacitated, so there’s a responsible adult to handle these matters for you. 

Working through the estate plan’s components can be challenging, but it’s necessary to give your children the best life possible if something happens to you. Working with someone familiar with points single parents need to cover can make this easier.