Unique Estate Plan Considerations for Single Parents

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

Single parents, especially when there is no other parent in the picture, are the carriers of so much responsibility. As the sole financial provider and caregiver to their child, much rests on their shoulders. When you are the only source of financial support and caregiving to your child, planning for the future not only means you need to account for these unique circumstances, but it also makes it critical to put plans in place. Estate planning is important for everyone, but it may be even more important for single parents.

Unique Estate Plan Considerations for Single Parents

Estate planning causes us to confront some unpleasant potential situations that may arise in the future. While it may be devastating to think about a future where you are unable to care for your child, it is important to consider it and put plans in place accordingly. You may even be surprised by how comforting it can be to put legal tools in place that will provide for your child even in the face of an otherwise uncertain future. 

For instance, single parents can and should be sure to name a guardian for their children in their estate plans. When there is no other parent in the picture, naming a guardian becomes even more critical. Naming a guardian in your estate plans allows you to choose the person who will take over the care and support of your child should you be unable to do so in the future. Without making this selection, the decision will be left to the courts. By putting a plan in place with a guardian selection, you are empowered to make your own choice for your child.

Single parents should also confront the fact that being the sole financial provider for their children also needs to be taken into consideration when putting an estate plan in place. Should something happen to you, are there financial support mechanisms in place to provide that continued financial support to your children? You could consider getting life insurance or increasing life insurance coverage you may already have in place. On a similar note, it may also be a good time to consider disability insurance which can provide your family with financial support in the event that you, the sole earner, are temporarily disabled and unable to work.

You may also want to consider establishing a trust and name your child as the beneficiary. A trust can be a great way to provide continued financial support to your child as you have wide discretion in the establishment of the trust terms. You can place conditions on trust distributions and schedule distributions over time to help ensure the funds you leave to your child are not quickly spent away. It can be a thoughtful way to help ensure stable and continuous financial support far into the future. 

Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney

The stakes feel higher when you are a single parent. Get the peace of mind that comes with putting an estate plan in place that helps protect a future you want for your child. The team at Unique Estate Law is here to help you do just that. Contact us today.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.