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Hartney Law believes in personalized service for each and every client. Our approach is educational and proactive – we first determine each client’s individual needs, desires and values, and then tailor their plan to best fulfill their dreams.
Single parents have unique estate planning needs. We understand this.
Here are some immediate considerations, for example, when establishing guardianship:
If you name a couple to act as guardians, make sure you decide what should happen if the couple breaks up or if one dies or is incapacitated. Documenting this properly is critical to ensuring the well-being and care to your children, no matter what.
Name more than one potential guardian. What if something happens to your first choice? Decide and document who will succeed your first nominee.
Avoid taking financial resources into consideration when deciding who should raise your children. Your guardians do not have to (and often should not) be financial decision makers for your kids. You need to leave enough money behind to put it in trust to ensure it is cared for properly.
Consider creating a Living Trust. This prevents a court from taking jurisdiction over your money and your loved ones through probate, which is totally public and doesn’t protect your money from your family’s later divorces and lawsuits.
Exclude anyone who might challenge your guardian decisions or who you know you would never want to care for your kids. Do it in writing.
Make arrangements for the short term if you were in an accident. What would happen to your kids in those immediate hours until your permanent guardians could arrive? We recommend a Kids Protection Plan© to cover that critical time of care.
Name your guardians in a separate, freestanding document, not simply in a Will. Naming a guardian in a Will or Power of Attorney will make it more difficult for you to change your nomination, and your children could be left waiting for a guardian until your Will is admitted to probate or for your power of attorney to take effect.
Moms and Moms, Dads and Dads! Mom, Mom and Dad! Because your rights aren't fully recognized everywhere (yet), it's vital that you protect your loved ones using as many estate planning tools as possible. We can help you determine the most effective layered protections available and put your plan into place so you never have to worry about being lost in the fray.