As a mother, it’s important that you’re able to take care of yourself and those you love. Part of doing that is having an estate plan that takes care of your needs.
Single and married mothers should go through the estate planning process to make sure that their children are beneficiaries when it’s appropriate and that there are guardianship designations in the case of a mother’s sudden death.
While one of the priorities of your estate plan should be to set up guardianship in the case of your incapacitation or death, there are other reasons to set up an estate plan as a mother as well.
Describing your preferences in your estate plan
One of the main reasons to start working on your estate plan is to be sure that your parenting preferences are known in the case of your death. Even though you may have your own preferences for guardianship, those won’t necessarily cover the way you want your children to be raised.
In your estate plan, you can include information about your moral values, schooling preferences, and other aspects of your children’s development that you’d like to influence. Whether you have a religious or nonreligious background, want your children to be in sports or have other issues to discuss, it’s smart to include them in your estate plan.
Another good reason for you to have an estate plan is to take the burden of making medical decisions about your care off your children’s shoulders. Set up an advance health care directive to detail what you want to have happen if you are impaired or cannot make decisions on your own for other reasons. You can name your own agent to take over the decision-making process, too, so that your children (especially when they’re older) don’t end up having to do that for you. This can be a great relief, especially if you feel that it would be a burden on your children or they have previously stated that they would not be comfortable making medical decisions for you.
Estate planning can be complex, but it’s necessary. A good estate plan with protect you and your children’s best interests.