Covid has increased the number of single-parent households in the United States with the unexpected loss of a loved one or partner. According to Time Magazine, up to 120,000 American children have lost a parent during the pandemic, and more than 22,000 have lost a caregiving grandparent. On top of their devastating loss, newly single parents have more responsibilities and more urgent concerns than 2 parent families – especially as the pandemic continues.
Single parents should update or create their estate plan immediately. Newly single parents have different priorities and make different decisions regarding the safety and security of their children than parents with a co-parent. Here are three reasons single parents need an estate plan immediately.
1. Guardianship In Case of Death or Incapacitation
The foundation of parenthood is preparing your children for adulthood and independence and protecting them from the unexpected. If something happens to a single parent while they are still caring for their minor children and there is no will or another document specifying child custody wishes, the courts decide who should become the guardian of their minor children.
2. Protect Your Financial Assets
In the event of your death, your children’s financial security needs to be protected. Your estate plan should identify who will manage any financial or other assets your children will inherit. This could include retirement accounts, insurance policies, social security benefits and other sources of income and financial support.
3. Communicate Your Child Rearing Preferences
Estate planning is planning for the unexpected. A single parent with very young children probably has goals for their children’s future, but likely has not communicated those preferences on their child’s education, sports participation, religious upbringing and other key parental responsibilities. A will or trust provides a single parent with security and peace of mind, knowing their wishes and goals for their children’s future will be made known to their beneficiaries, family and legal representatives.
Newly single parents have unique concerns in estate planning and protecting their young children. Prepare for the future by contacting an experienced estate planning attorney at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois at 630-864-5835.