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Four estate planning tips for single parents

As a single parent, you have numerous daily responsibilities. You want to set your children up to have successful lives. Estate planning can help ensure your children have the best possible future if you were no longer in the picture.

Here are four tips to consider when it comes to using an estate plan to protect your children:

  1. Documenting your personal assets. If something happened to you and you were no longer able to manage your assets, making a list of personal information helps to keep your business in order. Creating a list of financial advisors, doctors and medical care related individuals you work with, in addition to a list of family and friends, will aid in the distribution of your estate. In this personal document it would also be useful to include banking and social networking information. This way you can decide what you would like to happen with these accounts.
  2. Naming beneficiaries. As a single parent, you may want to leave property to your children. However, because your children are minors, they are not legally able to control these assets. That’s why naming an adult beneficiary will help your children to eventually receive the assets you set aside for them. You could name this beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement accounts, and 401K plan to ensure dealing with your estate is as simple as possible.
  3. Creating a trust. As a parent of children who cannot yet manage assets, a living trust could help distribute your estate. If you become incapacitated or die, the person you select will oversee the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries. Your trust could include instructions on how and when your children will receive inheritance you’ve left for them. Another useful aspect of having a valid trust is that this can help your estate avoid probate. By creating a legally recognized trust it’s likely you will save your estate and the people involved money.
  4. Deciding on a guardian. You’ve invested so much time and energy into your children, and you want to designate a guardian who will give them a comfortable life. Care of your children will go to your children’s other parent if they are deemed fit. In the event the other parent is unfit or unavailable, naming a guardian in your will helps keep your children safe.

Being a single parent is not easy. By taking steps towards planning your estate, you help ensure that your children will be accounted for.

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Brock Upham Yost PLLC
616 E. Blanco Rd.
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Boerne, TX 78006

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