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How to Create an Estate Plan as a Single Parent in Nevada

Single mom with her kid

Although single parents share some of the same hurdles as other parents, they often face those hurdles without someone else to step in and help when unexpected life events happen. Doing things alone bears its own unique set of challenges. 

In some situations, single parents may have the help of family, friends, or neighbors to rely on. But usually, they depend only on themselves. Though this can be trying and even overwhelming at times, the rewards of being a single parent are especially meaningful and memorable. 

Single parents work hard to ensure that their children have complete and wonderful childhoods. However, one critical thing often gets overlooked or put off for one reason or another: estate planning for their children and their future. If you are one of the estimated 40% of single-parent households in Nevada, continue reading to discover how estate planning can work for you and your family. 

Why should you make estate planning a priority as a single parent?

The idea that you may not be present for your children during their formative or adult years is a highly unpleasant one, but neglecting to plan for the unexpected, especially if you’re a single parent, might leave your children without needed guidance for their future. By creating an estate plan, you can continue to guide your children and provide for your children even if you are no longer physically present in their lives. 

What goes into an estate plan as a single parent?

You and your estate planning attorney will address common estate planning questions and determine the solutions that are best for you and your family. An estate plan can be simple or complex, but it all depends on your wishes, needs, family situation and your financial picture. 

Below are just two of the many common questions you will need to answer during the estate planning process:

  • In the event that you pass away before your children become adults, whom do you wish to entrust with raising your children? 

If the other parent is living and in good health, the answer is usually straightforward—your child will continue to live with the other parent. But who will raise your child if the other parent is out of the picture or cannot do so? 

Selecting the right guardian is one of the most important steps in creating an estate plan. In addition to decisions regarding your child’s education, religious upbringing, medical care, extracurricular activities, and place of residence, your child’s guardian will make many other decisions on their behalf as they grow up. It is important to consider this decision carefully to make the right decision. You will also want to consider alternate guardians if your first choice is unable to serve.

A knowledgeable estate planning attorney will have the skillset and background to help guide you through this tough, but necessary, determination. 

  • Do you have a life insurance policy or other assets, and how will such funds and assets be distributed among your children if you were to pass away?

If you don’t have a life insurance policy, you should get one. There are several different types of policies for every budget and differing benefit amounts. In addition to obtaining a life insurance policy, you will also need to consider how the policy’s proceeds, and any other assets you own, will ultimately be divided and distributed among your children. 

One option is to have your life insurance proceeds and other assets be administered and distributed through a trust. A trust allows you to put certain contingencies and details in place with respect to how and when your life insurance proceeds and other assets will be paid out to your desired beneficiaries, including at what age or ages your children may gain access to such funds.

These are just two of the many issues that will be addressed in an estate plan for a single parent under the guidance of an experienced Nevada estate planning attorney. At Lee Kiefer & Park, we provide our clients with the expertise of a boutique trust and estate law firm—trusts and estates are our only focus. Contact our office for a free and confidential consultation. 

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The information provided on this website is not legal advice and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by use of the site or by submitting a contact form. None of the content on this website constitutes a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any legal matter.

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