Every parent who’s preparing a will and other estate planning documents wants to consider what’s best for their children, but each family will face unique challenges. Single parents with minor children face high stakes when estate planning. If something were to happen to these parents, they must ensure their child will be well cared for and financially supported.
Are you preparing your estate plan as a single parent? Here are a few quick tips that may someday make a big difference for your child.
Consider Parental Rights
If your child’s other biological parent has parental rights, he or she is likely entitled to full custody of your minor child in the event of your untimely passing. However, if the other parent’s rights have been terminated, or if they predecease you while your child is still a minor, you are free to appoint a guardian for your child in your will. If you are currently dealing with a complicated custody situation, such as a co-parent who is only allowed supervised parenting time, it’s best to speak with a Minnesota estate planning attorney for parents who can help you determine what would happen to your child if you passed away.
If your co-parent isn’t in the picture, appointing a guardian in your estate plan can feel overwhelming. Your estate planning lawyer in Minnesota will help you evaluate your current support network to find out if there’s anyone who could serve as guardian in a formal capacity if needed. The guardian you choose should be reasonably financially stable, although you can also leave your child with an inheritance to meet their financial needs.
Financially Providing for Your Child
An inheritance can take many forms: a cash endowment, real estate, stocks, etc. As a single parent, you probably want to consider how any inheritance you leave your child can be accessed and utilized to pay for the child’s expenses in the event that you pass away while your child is still a minor. However, your life insurance policy may cover your final expenses and some of your child’s financial needs, so you may feel comfortable leaving your child’s inheritance in a trust with an age provision.
There are countless estate planning strategies, so you’re bound to find one that suits your needs while considering your child’s long term comfort. Your Minnesota estate attorney will be happy to provide more details about your best options.
Tips for Blended Families
If you’ve gotten remarried since having your child, you’ll have to create a plan that works for your blended family. If your child’s biological parent has parental rights, your blended family may not be living under the same roof after your passing. So, if you would like to name your child as a beneficiary in your will, you’ll have to first consider the financial needs of your current spouse and any children the two of you share. This fact is true whether your will goes into effect in three years or thirty.
If your children are adults at the time of your passing, you’ll need to consider whether you’d like to leave them some form of an inheritance and when you would like to make those assets accessible to them. Would you like your current spouse to control your shared finances until his or her passing, or would you prefer your children receive their inheritance immediately after your death? Being part of a blended family can complicate Minnesota estate planning, but an experienced estate attorney will do her best to simplify the process.
Are you searching for an estate planning lawyer in Minnesota to help you create the perfect plan for your family? Beth Barbosa has been a family law attorney for decades and understands the challenges divorced and single parents face. She calls on this experience to create comprehensive estate plans for families of all shapes and sizes. Contact Beth to schedule a free consultation today.