Why It’s Important to Put a Careful Plan in Place
As a single parent, your life is hectic because you must fulfill the roles of both parents. You think about what might happen if you’re incapacitated or die—how it would affect your children—but you never have time to do more than think about it. So, you do what many single parents do—talk to friends or family and ask them to take care of your kids if you can’t. Unfortunately, informal agreements carry little weight in a court of law. The best way to protect your children is to have an experienced attorney.prepare and execute a solid estate plan
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?
There’s a common misperception that an estate plan only addresses what will happen to your assets in the event of your death. Estate planning covers a wider range of issues, including:
- Who will have guardianship of your minor children if you die – You may or may not have an ex-spouse, and you may or may not want your children to live with that person in the event of your death. Without a valid estate plan, that could be exactly where your kids end up. Furthermore, even if you want your children to live with your ex, your ex may have other ideas. With a valid estate plan, you can specify not only who will care for your children if you cannot but also an alternative person to care for them if your first choice cannot do so.
- Who will have the authority to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated – If you have minor children, you want to know that the person acting on your behalf is considering the best interests of your children.
What Happens When a Single Parent Dies Without an Estate Plan?
You may assume that when you die, your property automatically goes to your children. That’s generally true, but there can be a lot of complications. First, if your children are not legal adults, a person will need to be appointed to manage the assets for your children until they do reach adulthood. With a valid estate plan, you can specify who that person will be.
Additionally, under Texas law, only property that would have passed through your will if you had one will go to your children. If you have bank accounts, investments, retirement funds, life insurance proceeds, or even a home, and you have another person on the account or title as joint owner, then that property will automatically pass to the other owner when you die. An estate plan will review ownership of all your property to make sure everything will pass the way you intend.
Contact the Proven Estate Planning Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer, contact us by email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.