Being a single parent brings its own set of challenges in life. But what happens to the kids when Mom or Dad dies? Or what happens if they are incapacitated and no longer able to raise the kids? A whole new set of challenges arises. What every single mom and single dad needs is an estate plan created specifically to address their individual circumstances.
First things first: Who will take care of the kids?
Why does a single parent need a Will?
Let’s face it, the kids are your life, and a single parent instinctively has an unwavering desire to protect their kids as best they can (10 Tips for Choosing a Guardian for Your Children.) That’s why you need to select a guardian to raise your kids if you pass away. In short—you need a Will. It’s the only document that allows you to name a guardian for the children. If you don’t have a Will and don’t name a guardian, you have no say in who will be selected for this essential job.
How can I protect my kids?
As a Green Bay attorney, I’ve had more than one client who thinks the other parent will do a terrible job raising the kids. Guess what? That parent is next in line for the job, whether they are up to the task or not. If you want any say in preventing this, you need to put it in your Will. Naming a guardian in your Will is your final opportunity to speak up about how you want your children raised.
Why is choosing a guardian so important?
Unfortunately, I can’t make any promises that your choice of a guardian will be honored. This might be an uphill battle, and the court might not follow the Will, but by naming a guardian, at least you have a say. You have a legal document outlining your vision for your children’s future. A Will is your last chance to speak out on behalf of the kids. If you want any chance that your choice of a guardian will be honored, you need to put it into your Will.
What other documents will a single parent need?
Besides a Will, single moms and single dads also need a Power or Attorney document. While a Will is a document of the dead, Power of Attorney is a document of the living. If you’re incapacitated because of a physical or mental condition and can’t raise your children, a Power or Attorney document will provide guidance to family, friends, and the courts as to who should care for the kids while you’re on the mend. Having a Power of Attorney document gives government officials the direction they need to place your kids in a loving home of a friend or family member. It also reduces the chance they’ll be placed in foster care.
How can Attorney Devin Shanley help?
Single moms and single dads face unique challenges. Green Bay attorney Devin Shanley knows this. He can guide you through the process of naming guardians for your children. As a dad of two small kids, he knows the joys and challenges of parenthood firsthand. He can help you develop a plan to protect your children if the worst happens.
About Us: Attorney Devin Shanley is the approachable expert clients can trust. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Devin has been developing legal solutions in his beloved hometown since 2012. Married to Mo and dad to two rambunctious kids, he has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, grilling out, and playing with his kids. His areas of practice are Estate Planning, Family Law, Business Law, and Non-Profit Organization Law. Schedule your free consultation by calling 920-471-4337.