Everyone needs to plan for the future, especially single parents. Estate planning for single parents involves creating legal documents to protect their children’s future and safeguarding their inheritance. This goal can be accomplished by a wide variety of estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, and other avenues that ensure that a single parent’s wishes for their assets and possessions are fully carried out when they die. Single parents are encouraged to develop a comprehensive estate plan that gives clear instructions on important directives, such as how their assets are to be distributed and who will be designated to care for their children in the event they are left without parents. An estate plan can also minimize family disputes and can ensure that children have financial stability.
Estate Planning Documents for Single Parents
Single parents often have unique situations that require a more thorough estate plan to ensure their children are properly cared for. A basic will may only partially cover their needs, and they may need to execute more than one document. A will can specify asset distribution and name a trusted executor that can help with the estate administration, but other estate planning documents can also help. Many single parents opt for a trust as a way to manage and distribute their assets in a financially responsible manner that ensures their children will have financial reassurance when they are gone. Single parents routinely use revocable living trusts because they can handle a wide range of estate issues and provides a clear roadmap of a parent’s wishes. Further, a power of attorney, or POA, is perfect for establishing authority for another person to assist single parents should they ever become incapacitated and unable to handle their finances or medical decisions.
Estate Planning Protects Children
Many parents worry about what will happen to their children when they die or if they become unable to take care of themselves. This is a valid concern and should be discussed in-depth with an estate planning attorney. There are numerous pitfalls that families can avoid with proper guidance and by executing the correct documents to protect their children’s future. Single parents don’t always have a strong support system, but they can select a guardian that can help their children during difficult times. A guardian is tasked with the well-being of the children, and it is important to choose someone that you trust. While guardians are chosen to take care of children when the parent dies, a trust is designed to protect and build assets children receive through their inheritance. Parents have a number of options when it comes to trust directives, such as asset distribution, administration, and investment possibilities to grow their inheritance and to keep underage children from spending it too fast. The goal is to provide for your children even after you are gone; estate planning is the best way to accomplish this goal.
Other Considerations to Protect Children’s Inheritance
We’ve discussed how single parents can protect their children’s financial future by establishing a will and by placing assets into a trust to manage an inheritance. Still, other meaningful ways exist to provide for your children when you die. Life insurance is one of the most cost-effective ways to support your children when you are no longer around. There are multiple types of life insurance, so it is important to speak with an estate planning attorney before choosing one for your family. Life insurance payouts can provide financial assurance for years to come, and the proceeds can be directed toward education, healthcare, living expenses, and other care that children may need. An attorney can assist parents with choosing beneficiaries and integrating the life insurance policy into an estate plan to ensure that the children of single parents are met.
Review Estate Plans Often
Life happens, and things change, so it’s recommended that parents revisit their estate plans often, especially when life changes occur. Most parents review their estate plans every few years, but major life decisions may warrant more frequent reviews. This could be a significant job change, divorce, new marriage, adoption, or even moving to another state.
Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney
Louisiana estate law is different from other states and has complex laws that can affect your children’s inheritance. It’s important to consult with an attorney with extensive experience with common issues single parents face when planning for their children’s future.
Progeny Law Firm assists single parents with estate planning in Baton Rouge, LA. Call (225) 465-1090 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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