Estate planning is important for everyone; however, it is even more critical for single parents. When a married person passes away, typically, the minor child would remain with the surviving parent; however, for single parents the situation becomes more difficult. Numerous questions may arise, like, who will manage the single parents’ assets? Who will care for the minor child? There are a number of options available to address all of these issues, such as wills and/or trusts to handle the estate issues, and guardianships to handle the issues related to the care of the minor child(ren) depending on their relationship with their surviving parent.
Every situation is unique, and it is important to seek the advice of competent counsel to determine which option is best for you and your family. More often than not, the surviving parent has the legal right to obtain “custody/guardianship” of the minor child or children; however, it becomes tricky when there are step-parents and step-siblings, or if the surviving parent lives out of state, is deployed or does not have a relationship with the minor child. Personal and real property are easier to handle; however, it is easier for your heirs to have all of your financial affairs in order, and you should hire an attorney to assist you with this very important task.
For more information regarding wills, estate planning, and/or guardianships, please contact the law office of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.