Estate Planning for Single Parents

Estate planning involves circumstances in which you do not have the ability to make healthcare decisions or manage your financial affairs while you’re living and will cover your estate administration once you pass away. There are 4 documents needed for an estate plan:

  • Durable power of attorney (Financial power of attorney)
  • Medical power of attorney (Health care power of attorney)
  • Advance medical directive (Living will)
  • Last will & testament

What to Place in Your Financial Power of Attorney

In this document, you’ll name someone to deal with your financial affairs. This person has accessibility to your bank accounts and pays your taxes and bills. Also, they’ll manage the financial support of your kids by paying for daily living and education expenses. You’ll specify which powers you’ll be giving your “agent.”

What to Place in Your Health Care Directive

Healthcare directives are made up of a living will, as well as a healthcare power of attorney. In a health care power of attorney, you’ll name who you’ll want to act as the agent to make medical choices for you when you cannot.

In the advance medical directive or living will, you’ll state your wishes for end-of-life care and treatment. You’ll state which measures are to be taken (or not taken) to extend your life, like hydration, artificial nutrition, and feeding tubes. If you make those choices now, it’ll save your loved ones from making those tough decisions.

What to Place in Your Will

The last will and testament is paperwork in which you list your directions on how you want things dealt with when you die. In the will, you’ll name:

  • Personal representative (executor) who manages the estate, follows the directions in the will, and distributes all assets to every beneficiary
  • Guardian for minors (kids under age 18 are considered to be minors)
  • Those you wish to be the beneficiaries who will inherit the remainder of your assets, as well as specific gifts for them, like personal belongings or cash

In the will, it’s also recommended to name alternate personal beneficiaries, guardians, and representatives.



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