While it is important for everyone to outline exactly what their wishes are for their assets and minor children, it is particularly important for single parents to ensure no stone goes unturned when legally outlining what their wishes are in the event of their passing. Michigan parents who are raising children on their own must take steps to create a comprehensive estate plan. The fate of assets is on the line, and, more importantly, the fates of any minor children are on the line also.

If there is another parent who can step in as guardian, that person may raise the children and be responsible for any assets the children inherit from the other parent. While ensuring the children are raised by the surviving parent may be the right decision, the ownership of assets belonging to the other parent might not be. These assets can be controlled by another party, such as another family member, or put into a trust controlled by another party.

Any assets left to children should be considered carefully, as should the timeline for the distribution of those assets once those children are of age. Proper precautions can ensure children are not given more than they can handle or more than a parent would want in their hands before they are ready to deal with the responsibility. There are a number of options with trusts, and a parent can determine the specifics based what is best for the children.

The creation of an estate plan can be a complicated and emotional matter for anyone. However, Michigan single parents may find the process more daunting and the consequences of not having estate plans more serious than they would be if there were two parents involved. Being prepared in every way can bring single parents and families feelings of peace about the fates of hard-earned assets and the fates of children — a parent’s first and foremost concern.  

Source: michronicleonline.com, “Why Single Moms Need A Solid Estate Plan“, Aisha Taylor, April 25, 2016

FindLaw Network