Hartford estate planning lawyers provide advice to people with all different kinds of life situations about how they can protect their families and make plans for their future. Estate planning is important for everyone, but it can be especially vital to put plans in place if you are a single parent. Single parents not only need to ensure they make the right choices for estate planning when their kids are younger, but also need to have an updated plan in place once their children reach adulthood.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help. Our legal team assists single parents in making an estate plan appropriate to the child’s age and the parent’s life situation. To find out more about the ways in which our Hartford estate planning lawyers help single parents (and all parents) to protect their children, give us a call today.
Estate Planning Tips for Single Parents with Minor Children
If your child is under the age of 18 and something happens to you, someone will have to care for your child. If you are a single parent, there may not be another parent who can step in and take care of the child. This makes it vitally important that you name a guardian for your minor child. You don’t want the court to decide who raises your kids if you can’t, and you don’t want a fight over who should get custody- you want to name a guardian so you are the person to determine who should care for your kids.
You may also want to ensure your child will be financially provided for if something happens to you. This could mean purchasing sufficient life insurance for yourself. It could also mean ensuring you structure an inheritance to a child in an appropriate way.
Kids under 18 cannot inherit directly, and you may not want an 18 year-old to inherit a big sum of money without any conditions, so you should talk with your experienced attorney about the best way for you to leave a financial nest egg for your child if you are a single parent and something happens to you.
Estate Planning Tips for Single Parents with Adult Children
Once your child reaches adulthood, you don’t need to worry about specifying who your child’s guardian should be. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t need an estate plan at all. If you plan to leave money to your children, you still need to determine if you want your kids to receive their entire inheritance all at once with no strings attached or whether you’d prefer to leave money in a trust which gives you more control.
If you are worried whether your estate is large enough to trigger estate tax, you also need to ensure that you’ve made plans to reduce or avoid the taxes that your estate could be forced to pay when you pass away. You could leave money to a spouse without worrying about estate tax, but if you’re leaving money to your kids, you need to try to avoid a big tax bill.
Finally, one of the biggest issues to plan for is what happens if you become incapacitated. If you are not married and you become incapacitated, your child may be your closest living relative. This would mean the burden could fall to your child to go to court and initiate guardianship proceedings if you haven’t made an incapacity plan and named someone to act as your agent on your behalf if you cannot act on your own.
Your adult child could also have to make decisions on whether to approve or deny medical care for you, and this could be very difficult if your child has to make the choice to pull the plug on machines keeping you alive. If you use advanced directives and make your preferences known for who should make healthcare choices and what kind of care you do and don’t want, you could spare your son or daughter from having to make an impossible choice.
Getting Help from Hartford Estate Planning Lawyers
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help parents to make the right plans for their children of all ages. Our legal team knows what is involved in planning ahead for the future if you are a single parent and we can help you to make the law work for you. To find out more about the process of making an incapacity plan and estate plan to protect your kids, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to talk with an experienced attorney about your options.