Long Island estate planning attorneys provide help to people in all different life situations. Having an estate plan is important for everyone, not just for seniors, because you want to control your destiny and your legacy. You never know what the future will hold and you don’t want to get very sick or pass away without having an estate plan.
While everyone should have an estate plan, it is especially important for people in certain specific circumstances to have made plans for the future. For example, if you are a single parent, it is absolutely vital that you have an estate plan in place.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can help you to create a plan that is right for you and for your children, so give us a call today to get started if you do not already have a plan.
Why Do Single Parents Need an Estate Plan?
Single parents need to have an estate plan, whether their children are younger or older. When your kids are young and you are a single parent, the key reason you need a plan is to make sure you can determine how your children will be cared for if something happens to you.
If you become incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently, you need to decide who is going to make decisions on your behalf and who is going to take care of your children. If you pass away, you need to determine who is going to become the guardian of your children. If the child’s other parent is know and involved in the child’s life through some type of shared custody, usually the other parent will take sole custody if something happens to you.
However, if you do not know who the other parent is, if the other parent has no parental rights, or if the other parent is otherwise not able to raise the child, you’ll need to make sure you have named a guardian. If you don’t, the court could end up making the decision over who raises your kids, and your surviving family members could end up embroiled in a custody dispute. If you don’t have surviving family who could take your child, naming a guardian becomes even more essential because you don’t want your child to end up in the foster care system.
If you are a single parent, your child may also be wholly dependent upon you for financial support. You’ll need to make an estate plan that allows you to ensure your child is appropriately provided for, financially, if something happens to you. You’ll want to structure this inheritance in a strategic way since a minor cannot inherit and manage his own money until age 18, and you don’t want the court deciding who manages the money you left to your child.
As your child gets older, you may not need a plan to ensure you’ve named a guardian, but it is still important to make an estate plan even if you are the single parent of an adult child. You want to specify who should make medical decisions for you in an emergency if you don’t want your child to get stuck with this task or you may wish to make advanced directives to make your healthcare preferences known so your child doesn’t end up having to pull the plug on machines keeping you alive.
You’ll also need to consider the estate tax implications of leaving money to a child if you have a larger estate and plan to provide a substantial inheritance for your kids. While you could transfer unlimited assets to a spouse after your death without paying taxes, the same is not true for your kids. Both state and federal estate tax could potentially be charged on an inheritance and you need to consider making a plan to limit taxes charged upon death.
Getting Help from Long Island Estate Planning Attorneys
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC has helped many single parents to create an estate plan that best protects their children. Whatever you age, family situation, or goals for the future, our legal team will help you to use the right tools to achieve those plans. We know the ins-and-outs of how New York laws work and we will help you to ensure that your plan is the right one for you.
To find out more about the estate planning process, download our estate planning checklist. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to get personalized advice about making plans to protect your child as a single parent. Call today to find out more.