Name a Guardian
One of the first steps you will want to take when beginning the estate planning process is to name a guardian for your children. This process will ensure you appoint a guardian for your children that you trust to raise them after your passing. If you do not appoint a guardian in your estate plan, the court will and this may result in someone being appointed as a guardian that you would not normally nominate. If your child’s other parent survives you, they may have legal rights to raise your child.
Set your Children Up Financially
One of the most important steps to take when estate planning as a single parent is to set your children up financially after your passing. If you do not have an appropriate estate plan, it is possible for your assets to become tied up in probate, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. The court may appoint a guardian to oversee these assets which may make it difficult for your children to access them. The best way to set up a financial plan for your children after you pass is to set up a trust for the benefit of your children that would be immediately available to them. This allows you to choose a person you trust to manage the assets for your children.
Name Beneficiaries for Your Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts
To benefit your children and to create a cohesive estate plan, many single parents will name their trust as the beneficiary of their life insurance and retirement accounts. This will ensure that your children will have immediate access to these funds and you will pick the person who manages them.
Create a Power of Attorney for Property
The final step you should take when drafting your estate plan is to create a durable power of attorney for your property. Should you become incapacitated or disabled, a power of attorney will avoid the disruption of your children’s lives by choosing an agent who will manage your affairs and keep everything in order when you are unable to do so yourself. This will ensure that your children’s lives are continued as normal by keeping up with bills and allowing access to funds to purchase necessities for your children.
Contact Our Firm
Herting Law, PLLC, is an Iowa-based law firm designed to help with all of your legal needs. If you need a Des Moines criminal defense lawyer, our firm has significant experience in all criminal matters, including OWIs, drug charges, gun crimes, theft, assault, and more. If you need an estate planning lawyer, our firm can guide you through it all, including drafting wills, trusts, and the administration of your estate. Whatever the situation, Herting Law, PLLC has you covered.