Many single mothers often overlook estate planning. It can be easy to put off these important decisions. Life is busy and making plans for your demise is something that no one wants to make time for. Well laid estate plans are the greatest possible gift you can leave your family.
According to the U.S. Census Department, 81.7 percent of custodial parents are mothers. For single mothers, planning for the care of their children is one of the primary concerns of their estate plan. While no mother wants to even consider what will happen to their children if they aren’t around to raise them, not having control over that decision is even more alarming.
A guardian steps in and fulfills the role of a substitute parent. They are responsible for the physical and legal custody of the child. This person should be someone who shares your basic beliefs as to how your children should be raised. Guardians are able to make financial and medical decisions on the behalf of the child.
Appointing a custodian for your children is an important step in providing for their future care. However, planning for their financial well-being is equally important. A power of attorney to manage your finances if you become incapacitated can add another level of security. A financial power of attorney has the power to continue to pay the mortgage or withdraw funds to pay for the care of your children.
Leaving behind and properly structuring your finances can give your children a more comfortable life even if you are not able to be there. Consider establishing a trust that will provide financial security for your children for years to come. A trust can create conditions for how and when your assets are distributed after you die. By creating a trust and naming a successor trustee to manage the trust after your death, you can ensure your children’s financial security without losing control over your assets.
Putting Your Plan In Place
Estate planning is important for any who wishes to maintain control over their estate after their death. For single mothers these plans can have even more meaning. Planning in advance for the custodial and financial care of your children can get you on your way to protecting your children and wealth, and to securing peace of mind.
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