Single Parents: Documents you need.Being a single parent is a lot of responsibility; it isn’t easy. Hours are filled with work, school, kid’s activities, and various last minute emergencies. After tucking the children in at night, a single parent may feel that they have nothing left to give; many are just grateful that they made it through another day. But when their head hits the pillow, the worrying starts. What would happen if I died unexpectedly? What if I became incapacitated? Who would take care of my children? Who would see that they had housing and food? What about education? With some preparation and planning, children being raised by a single parent can be well-cared for, even if it’s not the single parent who does it. A well-drafted estate plan will reduce stress and conflict at a difficult time.
Single parents need to consider having the following estate planning documents:
Single parents should frequently revisit the beneficiary designations on their bank accounts, life insurance, annuity contracts, 401k plans, IRA accounts, and other retirement accounts. It would be helpful to prepare a list of personal information for someone who may have to step in the shoes of the single parent.
- A will and/or revocable trust to transfer property to a trustee who will manage the trust for the child’s benefit.
- A General Durable Power of Attorney
- A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions
The list should include:
- Advisors (legal financial, health, insurance);
- Family and friends to be contacted;
- All accounts (including institution, account number and beneficiary information);
- All digital assets (online bank and investment accounts, social networking sites, any websites or blogs) including usernames and passwords.