Single parents have different coronavirus estate planning needs than married or two-parent families. Who will take care of your children if you become ill? Who will pay the rent and buy groceries? Who knows where your legal documents are stored? Single parents have a lot of stress to deal with on a normal basis, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic health crisis, single parents of minor children need to make sure their children are legally protected.
1. Short-Term Guardianship In Case of Incapacitation
You need an emergency caregiver if you become ill. If something happens to a single parent of minor children and there is no legal guardianship, will or other document specifying child custody wishes, the courts are likely to grant custody to the other parent. In many cases, single parents do not want their children’s other biological or legal parent to have custody of the children. Or, there may be no other parent in your child’s life. A short-term guardianship can appoint someone to care for your children and make decisions on their behalf on a temporary basis while you are ill or incapacitated.
“Avoid grandparents, in general,” said Roberto Posada, an associate professor of pediatrics and medical education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “I would avoid people older than 60 or 65.”
2. Health Care Proxy
If you become incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t have a spouse, who do you want to make medical decisions on your behalf? If you don’t appoint a health care proxy, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person your trust. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a durable power of attorney, a legal device that allows one person to indefinitely make decisions on behalf of another.
3. Financial POA
Are you single, but with a life partner? Do your minor children have a parent who you don’t trust to make financial decisions? Who do you trust to pay the bills and take care of your finances if you become incapacitated? A durable power of attorney is used to allow the designated person to handle affairs in a certain area of the principal’s life, such as in financial matters.
Single parents have unique concerns in estate planning during the coronavirus crisis that two-parent families do not have. Prepare for the future by contacting an experienced estate planning attorney at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois at 630-800-0112.