A single parent's top priority is the well-being of their children. If your ability to provide for them was suddenly diminished by death or incapacitation, your kids could be further devastated by the unknown of an uncertain future. Estate planning is an opportunity for single parents to have peace of mind knowing that minor-aged children will be okay after an untimely passing. Single parents can address their concerns by making a few decisions with an estate law attorney for best results.
How Are a Trust & a Will Different?
In terms of estate planning, a will is a document that directs how assets will be distributed upon death. All property will be subject to probate. Probate is the process of finalizing the validity of the will and its stated beneficiaries. Minor children will be unable to file probate on your behalf, so an administrator will need to be appointed. That person will use your will and their judgment to ensure your final wishes are executed.
On the other hand, a trust gives single parents greater control and flexibility over many decision-making areas. Assets in a trust typically include homes, savings accounts, and retirement funds. In the trust document, you can specify how you want these to be distributed to or managed for your children, extended family, and friends by the successor trustee. Unlike a will, it also describes how to handle end-of-life decision making and guardianship, and assigns power of attorney to someone you trust.
Who Is Responsible for Carrying out Your Wishes?
It's good to have someone you're close to as your trustee or executor. However, choosing someone who is fiscally responsible is an important characteristic, too. The administrator or trustee doesn't need to make all of the decisions—the person you appoint can work with financial planners and estate planning attorneys to make better decisions regarding your children.
Get a jump on your estate planning and talk to a lawyer today. The Drake Law Firm PA can help you create a will or trust to meet the needs of your family—their firm has been serving the Baxter County, AR, area for more than 20 years. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling their office at (870) 425-2460 or visiting their website.