Estate Planning and the Single Parent
Kai is a single professional woman. She had an unplanned pregnancy at
31 and decided to keep her child. The child’s father who was in his mid
40’s wants nothing to do with the child and denied paternity. After
positive DNA testing, Kia gets court ordered child support from the
father, but no emotional relationship. Kia has sole legal custody. Kia
shares a home with her widowed mother who does not feel she could
care for her active 3-year-old grandson if something should happen to
Kia. What are her estate planning issues?
Estate Planning is just as important for single parent families as it is for
same sex couples. In this situation, if Kia does nothing, and something
happens to her, the child’s father could appear, take custody of the
child and his finances with little consideration of anyone else in the
child’s life because the preference for custody under the law is given to
Single parents need:
A will or trust to transfer property to the child or a trustee who
will manage the trust for the child’s benefit
A durable power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney
A living will
A guardianship agreement naming an alternate guardian if for
some reason her first choice is unable or unwilling to serve as
guardian including an affidavit setting out the reasons for her
choice of one guardian over another.
A single parent need not be wealthy to need these documents. Your
estate maybe larger than you realize, if you receive life insurance as
one of your employment benefits, funds in an IRA or other pension
account, and a home you child or children could have significant assets.
Additionally they would be entitled to Social Security survivor’s benefits
based on you work record. Consult with an attorney experienced in
these matters to determine what is best for your circumstances.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Seattle WA of the Byrd Garrett
PLLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to
residents of Seattle WA. To learn more about these free resources,
please visit www.byrdgarrett.com/ today.