Single Parents Cannot Afford to Wait to Start Estate Planning
If you are a single parent, it probably makes your blood boil when your married friends talk about how unhelpful their spouses are. They might say that they feel like single parents, but they have no idea what it is like when you really are single, and you have to take on 100 percent of the responsibility for your children’s day-to-day lives and for their future. When you are caught up in the constant activity of raising children by yourself, estate planning is probably the farthest thing from your mind. In fact, though, a single parent of young children needs a will or living trust as much as an elderly person does, and perhaps even more. It is never too early to meet with an estate planning lawyer to discuss how you will provide for your children in the event of your death.
Wills Are Not Just for Elderly People
When a person dies without leaving a will, the court distributes the person’s assets according to its rules of intestate succession. If you are not married, but you have children, your children will inherit everything, even if you don’t have a will. If they are minors, though, they may not be able to access the money until they reach adulthood. It will also be up to the court’s discretion to decide who will get custody of your children, unless you write a will specifying your wishes about these matters. Your will is the place to state clearly how you want your children to be cared for if you are not there to care for them.
Living Trusts Are Not Just for the One Percent
Living trusts have a reputation for being a way that extremely wealthy people lavish money on their grandchildren and their favorite charities, but in fact, they are a practical option for many people. When you transfer your assets to a trust while you are alive, it is easier and less expensive for the beneficiaries to get the money after you die than it is when you make provisions for the assets in your will. You can be the trustee (the person authorized to take money out of the trust) when you are alive, and you can specify who the trustee will be if you die or become too ill to fulfill the role of trustee.
As scary as it is to think about dying when your children are minors, it is even scarier to think about what might happen if you become severely disabled and cannot take care of them. The best way to prevent the worst from happening is to set up a living trust.
Contact Us Today About Estate Planning
Estate planning is important for everyone, but especially for single parents of minor children. An estate planning lawyer can help you make important decisions related to your estate and protect your legal rights. Contact the Washington DC estate planning lawyers at Tobin, O’Connor, and Ewing today for help.