As a single parent, have you considered what would happen to your children if you were no longer around to care for them? An estate plan that’s carefully thought out ensures that your minor children will be taken care of on your behalf. Estate planning can also reduce conflicts that may arise during hard times. Here’s a closer look at what it is and why it matters.
What Is Estate Planning?
Put simply, estate planning involves arranging for the organized transfer of assets to intended beneficiaries, identifying executors and trustees, and assigning caretakers for minor children. It also involves minimizing taxes and setting a durable power of attorney to manage the estate’s assets and investments. Most importantly, proper planning can avoid a costly conservatorship proceeding that would be required if you were to pass away with minor children and no planning in place.
Preparing for Estate Planning as a Single Parent
To ensure that your minor children get what should be theirs, make sure that you prepare the documents below with the following details.
Your will should name the individual responsible for handling your estate, intended beneficiaries, and preferred guardian of children too young to manage on their own. It contains detailed instructions on how to manage the assets.
Revocable Living Trust
A well-drafted trust is necessary for single parents with minor children. It identifies a trustee who will administer, dispose of, and distribute assets accordingly. They’ll also manage the beneficiary’s inheritance.
Nomination of Guardian
Even if your former spouse survives you, you should still nominate alternate guardians. Your choice of guardian will become responsible for your children if your ex-spouse is incapable of taking care of them or waives their rights to do so.
Power of Attorney
Your named trustee will handle all your financial affairs and legalities on your behalf through the power of attorney. An advance health care directive is similar to a power of attorney but covers medical decisions instead.
Be sure to update the named beneficiaries on your insurance and retirement accounts. However, bear in mind that minors are not allowed as beneficiaries, so ask your attorney about placing the proceeds in a trust until your children reach the age of majority.
Estate planning can be challenging for a single parent, but it’s much easier to take care of with the help the attorneys at Ng & Niebling, LLLC in Honolulu, HI. With a combined 30 years of experience, these lawyers have assisted many single parents with the drafting of their wills, establishing trusts, and handling inheritance-related issues. Call (808) 732-7788 to arrange an initial consultation on estate planning or visit them online.