by H2R CPA Team
In many respects, estate planning for single parents of minor children is similar to estate planning for families with two parents. Single parents want to provide for their children’s care and financial needs after they’re gone. But when only one parent is involved, certain aspects of an estate plan demand special attention. If you’re a single parent, here are five questions you should ask:
1. Are my will and other estate planning documents up to date? If you haven’t reviewed your estate plan recently, do so as soon as possible to ensure that it reflects your current circumstances. The last thing you want is for a probate court to decide your children’s future.
2. Have I selected an appropriate guardian? If the other parent is unavailable to take custody of your children should you become incapacitated or die suddenly, does your estate plan designate a suitable, willing guardian to care for them? Will the guardian need financial assistance to raise your kids and provide for their education? If not, you might want to preserve your wealth in a trust until your children are grown.
3. 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.
4. What if I become incapacitated? As a single parent, it’s particularly important for you to include in your estate plan a living will or advance directive to specify your preferences for the use of life-sustaining medical procedures and a health care power of attorney to designate someone to make other 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.
5. Have I established a trust for my children? Trust planning is one of the most effective ways to provide for children regardless of their age. Trust assets are managed by one or more qualified, trusted individuals or corporate trustees, and you specify when and under what circumstances funds should be distributed to your kids. But 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.
If you’re a single parent, we can help answer all of your estate planning questions. Contact H2R CPA at 412-391-2920 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on estate planning. Our team would be pleased to provide a complimentary consultation.
by Brett Fulesday, CVA
As part of H2R CPA’s Litigation Support practice, we provide expert consulting and testimony services to assist counsel and their clients going through divorce and marital disputes. Family-law attorneys often require these services on behalf of dependent and independent spouses in cases involving a variety of complex issues.
Beginning with this post, and on a continuing basis, we will highlight a specific Pennsylvania-based, family-law case and identify a few of the meaningful – and complex – topics at play.
Let’s start with Susan M. Berry v. Douglas R. Berry.
Filed on May 2, 2006, in Pennsylvania Superior Court, on appeal, Ms. Berry (the Mother) contended that the trial court erred in the following ways:
The Mother’s contentions revolved around the Father’s income, which gave rise to such issues as:
These are not random issues that have no practical application; rather, these are issues that we confront in nearly every divorce-related engagement. Understanding their meaning and application is essential. We acknowledge – and embrace – this reality, which helps to explain why family-law attorneys have turned to H2R CPA for assistance for more than 30 years.
Contact H2R CPA’s Litigation Support practice at 412-391-2920 or email@example.com to learn more about our family law expert consulting and testimony services. Our team would be pleased to provide a complimentary consultation.
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