Being a single parent comes with additional responsibilities. Many single parents go the extra mile to make sure their children are taken care of in every possible way. As a single parent, you’ll find yourself thinking about things such as what would happen to your kids if something happened to you? Who would get custody of your kids if you suddenly died or became incapacitated? Where would they live? Who would pay for their housing, education, and food? Who would manage their finances? While it’s hard to think about death or becoming incapacitated, these are questions every responsible single parent ought to ask themselves especially if their children are minors. The best way to address these questions is through estate planning. While estate planning is important for everyone, single parents particularly require a comprehensive, trust-based estate plan to protect kids should something happen. Having an up-to-date estate plan is crucial to make sure your wishes are carried out in case you die suddenly or become incapacitated. Besides, an estate plan welcomes peace of mind for a single parent.
As a single parent, having an estate plan in place should be a high priority. Whether your child’s other parent is in the picture or not, it is important to take steps to ensure they are well taken care of in the event of your death or incapacity. By having an estate plan, your assets will avoid lengthy and costly probate proceedings. Estate planning ensures your assets are transferred to your chosen trustee so that they are used to cater for your kids’ needs instead of being tied up in probate proceedings. An estate planning attorney can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that will help to avoid court interferences. A professional Michigan estate planning attorney will evaluate your overall perspective and develop a plan that will ensure your wishes become a reality.
The main elements of an estate plan include a will, a revocable living trust, power of attorney, an advance medical directive, and beneficiary forms. A will lets you name the beneficiaries of your estate as well as the person you can trust to manage your financial instruments when your children are still minors. It’s also the perfect legal instrument to appoint a guardian who you can trust to take care of your children should you become incapacitated. A revocable living trust transitions the decision making authority to the person of your choice if you die or become incapacitated. When you have a revocable living trust in place, your assets can be handled by a person you trust until the time when your children are capable to manage the inheritance on their own. Besides, your estate doesn’t have to go through the time-consuming probate. An estate plan may also contain an advance medical directive which allows you to appoint a person who will make your health decisions should you become incapacitated. An estate planning attorney from Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC will offer guidance when it comes to the process of designating beneficiaries to your life insurance policy, brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts.? An attorney will ensure you execute the proper beneficiary forms to avoid court interventions later on.
If your child’s other parent is unable to take care of the child for whatever reasons or you do not want them to take custody of your child, an estate plan will allow you to choose a guardian you’re comfortable with to look after your child. If you pass away without an estate plan, the courts may grant custody of your child to someone you don’t approve. You’ll want your children to be taken care of by a guardian you can trust as they will be responsible for making decisions regarding your children?s residence, education, health, and activities. Rather than leaving the decision up to the courts, an estate plan will help to avoid lengthy court battles. In addition to appointing a guardian who will take care of your children if you pass away, an estate plan allows you to appoint a person who will take charge of your financial matters and make health care decisions if you became incapacitated. As a single parent, you’re probably the only signatory on your estate, bank accounts, mortgage, and other financial instruments. Have you considered what would happen if you passed away or became incapacitated and there?s no one to manage your financial matters? That is why it’s important to choose a power of attorney to make legal decisions and manage your financial affairs if you’re unable to do so. Working with an estate planning lawyer from Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC will ensure you understand the whole process, its benefits, and how estate planning will maximize the value of your assets for the good of your children after your death. Through an estate plan, you can create a living trust to ensure your kids’ needs and education will be catered for.