Being a single parent often means you’re responsible for 99.9 percent of everything it takes to raise your children, including emotional, physical and financial support. Because of this, you may wonder who would take over if you died and how your children would continue to be properly cared for. While there’s no way to prepare for every single scenario, an estate plan can provide a thorough outline of your wishes if something happens. The following are three reasons single parents need to carefully consider their estate plans.
1. Naming a guardian for your children
If your children’s other parent is still involved in their lives, that parent is likely to become the children’s guardian in the event of your death. However, it is important to name another person to serve as guardian in case that parent is unwilling or unable to serve this role. Additionally, your estate plan should include provisions on how your assets should be used to provide for your children’s upbringing.
2. Someone else may need to make medical decisions on your behalf
An estate plan isn’t just for your children. You’ll also want to make sure you include an advanced health care directive and a power of attorney in case you are rendered unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself. While you may want to name the same person for both of these roles for simplicity’s sake, you don’t have to. The person listed in the advanced health care directive should be someone you trust to follow your wishes and make hard decisions as necessary, while the power of attorney looks over your financial affairs and will be able to write checks and handle assets in your stead.
3. You’ll feel better.
Estate planning is a vital part of making sure your children are provided for if you pass away, but having everything finalized and put down on paper can also go a long way toward relieving stress and anxiety. Once you have selected a guardian and power of attorney, you can rest easy knowing that your wishes are known and you have a plan in place to execute those wishes if and when the time comes.
If you don’t have an estate plan currently or are concerned that your existing plan no longer meets your needs, it’s important to go over your wants and needs with someone who can help. Contact Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys to find out how we can make the estate planning process easier.