Being a single parent is hard work, but you can’t let specific duties fall by the wayside just because of your challenges. One of these essential duties is getting your estate plan in order so it can help your children when you pass away.
Each element of your estate plan can help ensure that your children are taken care of if something happens to you.
The end-of-life instructions in your estate plan help the adults in charge of your care know what you want done. While it might seem like this will help your children, it will help because they won’t have to hear people fighting over what you wanted in your final days. People can follow your plan and spend their energy making sure your children are adequately cared for.
You should have your advanced directives in place. Additionally, establish power of attorney for health care and power of attorney for finances.
Guardianship establishes who will raise the children for you once you’re unable to. Think carefully about who you name for this. Ideally, they should live relatively close to you so they can get to the children quickly. If the long-term guardian doesn’t live close to you, consider naming a short-term guardian who can care for the kids until the long-term person gets there.
Discuss your wishes with the person you name as guardian. Make sure they’re up for the duties and are willing to take on raising children. This also allows them to ask questions about what you want for the kids.
Will and trusts
Your will and trusts can provide financially for your children. Make sure you have a responsible person over these for the child. You can place the person who you named guardian is the one who’s also in charge of the financial matters for the child, but choosing someone else adds a layer of protection for the assets because two people will see how the children are being cared for.
As you think about your assets, remember to check the payable on death designations at financial institutions. This is a way that you can get the guardian for your child access to money quickly after you pass away.
Making sure you have a comprehensive estate plan is crucial if you’re a single parent. Working with someone familiar with your situation can make this easier.