Are you a single parent? Have you ever heard of estate planning? Do you know what you need to consider while you plan for it? If not, then you are in the right place. This article right here answers it all. A quick fact for you:
In the Australian continent, in June 2020, there were 1 million single-parent families, constituting 14.4% of the total families, out of which 79.2% were single mothers.
64.6% had children below 18 years of age, of these single-parent families, recording an increase of 12.4% since 2010.
Pay attention, reader! Because if you happen to be a single parent, it is of utmost importance that you hire the services of will and estate lawyers so your planning matters are spick and span. When only one parent, i.e. a single parent is involved, particular issues need extra care and attention.
In case you are a single parent, given below are four really important questions you should never ignore:
IS YOUR WILL UP TO THE MINUTE?
Your Will must display any significant personal instances or changes in relationships in your life to make sure you are not placing your children’s endowment at risk.
This becomes all the more important if you are on the verge of getting a divorce, re-partnering, or parting with a de facto partner. These significant life changes might have a great effect on your estate plans.
When you die, to liaise with the guardian of your minor children, a will becomes necessary to make sure that an executor is appointed to manage your assets immediately.
Until they become adults, your executor can be instructed to hold your children’s share of your estate in trust for their health, education, maintenance, and support instead of distributing the assets to them right away upon your death.
HAVE YOU CHOSEN AN APPROPRIATE GUARDIAN FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
In the event of their death, single parents making a Will (either for the first time or reviewing an existing Will) are often concerned about the appointment of a person to act as their children’s guardian.
Whilst they are under the age of 18, the appointed guardian will be responsible for your children’s day-to-day care, welfare, and development. This includes making decisions related to their religious upbringing, education, medical care, residence, and extracurricular activities.
Unless other arrangements have been made, the person appointed under your Will will step into your shoes as guardian for your minor children.
IF YOUR FORMER SPOUSE IS STILL ALIVE, THEN WHAT?
Your children’s guardian, appointed by your will, will exercise their powers jointly with the surviving parent if there is a surviving parent.
If they are still alive, it is important to discuss the guardianship of your children with your former spouse. One thing that will avoid any confusion about the intentions of either parent is consistent appointment in your respective Wills.
WHOM SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AS A GUARDIAN?
It may be helpful to have an open and honest conversation with the person before choosing them to serve as guardians for your minor children to ensure that they will accept the responsibility.
Opting for one whose parenting methods are closely in line with your parenting methods and objectives for your children may assist your children in adjusting easily after your passing away.
A Memorandum of Wishes that highlights any particular factor and guidelines can be included in the estate plan by the parents that they want their guardian to consider when bringing up their children.
Time to talk to your will and estate lawyers today!