It was recently Single Parents Day and it made me think about all the things single parents have to deal with alone...medical and dental appointments, getting the kids off to school, earning an income to provide for the family, and on and on. So when it comes to talking to single parents about estate planning, the last thing they want or need is another job or “to do” on their list.
However, it is so much more important for these single parents to get their affairs in order. Rarely do we see the death of two parents in a short period of time, but now the odds are changed....it’s just you! In many situations you are all these kids have. What if you died or became incapacitated? Who would take care of you or your kids. Would the absentee parent (if there is one) come back into their life and take over guardianship? Would you want them to? Would this same absentee parent also now take over managing your money for the benefit of your kids and can this “absentee parent” be trusted?
Having an estate plan in place allows you to identify or control who steps in and becomes the guardian of your minor children and who manages their money until they are older and more mature to handle it. Your estate plan also addresses who will help you with financial or medical decisions for yourself, if you find that you are not mentally or physically able.
Estate planning and talking about these issues is not fun and it is easy to put off. The bad news is that if you don’t make these decisions and get them in writing, the court or the wrong people may be doing that for you.
Goudy Bookletter 1911