Avoiding Legal Trouble

Why Estate Planning Is Important For You As A Single Parent

As a single parent, estate planning may be the last thing on your mind if you struggle financially. However, when you're a single parent, estate planning is more important than ever because the process involves much more than just distributing assets. Here are reasons it's important to have your estate in order when you're single, and you have children depending on you.

You Can Name A Guardian For Your Kids

One worry you may have about your kids is what will happen to them if you're killed in an accident or develop a terminal illness. You don't want to leave the future of your children uncertain because they might be split up and put into foster homes. One way to ensure they stay together and have good care is to choose a guardian in advance and change that chosen person if needed as life circumstances change over the years.

You'll want to talk to the person so that they know about your choice and agree to take in your kids. Raising kids is a big responsibility and financial undertaking. You may find even though your extended family loves your kids that they aren't able to act as a guardian. Knowing for sure who will take in your kids whether it's a family member or good friend, gives you peace of mind that your kids will continue to have a stable childhood if you pass away.

You Can Name A Guardian For You

Another important part of planning your estate is what happens to you if you become mentally disabled. You want a trusted person making the right decisions when it comes to your care. If you don't name someone and fill out the proper advance directive forms, doctors at the hospital or a court-appointed guardian will make decisions for you, and they may not be what you would make for yourself.

Normally, this responsibility falls on your husband, but when you're not married, your parents or other family members might have to decide if you should be placed on a respirator or given a feeding tube. By naming who has control of your medical decisions and finances once you can't handle them yourself, you and your children are better protected. Just be sure you let the person know your wishes in advance so they can be carried out even if others in your family disagree.

You Set Up Financial Protection For Your Kids

Even if you don't have much money right now, an estate planner can help you get started with securing the financial security of your kids. This might involve insurance policies, savings accounts, and trust funds. The more money you have, the more complex estate planning becomes, but even if you don't have much money, you can still organize what you do have to make sure your kids get the best benefit after you pass.

While estate planning is often associated with the wealthy, it is actually useful for protecting the things that are more valuable than money, and that's your kids. You have a lot of responsibility as a single parent, and one you don't want to overlook is how your kids will be raised and supported if you pass away unexpectedly.

For more information, contact an attorney like Robert Bruce Jones Attorney.