Support on this site for Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 will end on April 18, 2018. You must update your browser prior to then to continue accessing ubt.com and UBTgo Online Banking. Learn More Here >>

Estate Planning for Single Parents

Doug Koenig,

May 01, 2019

Growing Your Wealth

Articles

Fast fact: The percentage of U.S. children who live with an unmarried parent has jumped from 13% in 1968 to 32% in 2017, according to Pew Research Center’s most recent poll.

While estate planning for single parents is similar to estate planning for families with two parents, when only one parent is involved, certain aspects demand your special attention.

Five Questions to Ask

Of course, parents want to provide for their children’s care and financial needs after they’re gone. If you’re a single parent, here are five questions you should ask:

  • 1. Have I selected an appropriate guardian?
    If the other parent is unavailable to take custody of your children should you become incapacitated or unexpectedly die, your estate plan must designate a suitable, willing guardian to care for them.
  • 2. What happens if I re-marry?
    Will you need to provide for your new spouse as well as your children? Where will you get the resources to provide for your new spouse? What if you placed your life insurance policy in an irrevocable trust for your kids to avoid estate taxes on the proceeds? Further complications can arise if you and your new spouse have children together or if your spouse has children from a previous marriage.
  • 3. What if I become incapacitated?
    As a single parent, it’s particularly important to include in your estate plan a living will, advance directive or health care power of attorney to specify your health care preferences in the event you become incapacitated and to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. You should also have a revocable living trust or durable power of attorney that provides for the management of your finances in the event you’re unable to do so.
  • 4. Should I establish a trust for my children?
    Trust planning is one of the most effective ways to provide for your children. Trust assets are managed by one or more qualified, trusted individuals or corporate trustees. You specify when and under what circumstances funds should be distributed to your kids. A trust is particularly important if you have minor children. Without one, your assets may come under the control of your former spouse or a court-appointed administrator.
  • 5. Am I adequately insured?
    With only one income to depend on, plan carefully to ensure that you can provide for your retirement as well as your children’s financial security. Life insurance can be an effective way to augment your estate. You should also consider disability insurance. Unlike many married couples, single parents don’t have a “backup” income in the event they can no longer work.

We Help With Your Estate Plan

If you’re a single parent, let's review your estate plan. We’d be happy to help you make any necessary updates.

Call Doug Email Doug

© 2019

Back to Top

Add new comment

This blog article is for informational purposes only, and is not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.


Investment products: Not FDIC Insured - No Bank Guarantee - May Lose Value.