You have no spouse, and the only relative you have now is your adult child. As a single parent, you’ve always wondered if you needed an estate plan, because your child would be the only potential beneficiary or heir to your estate.
It makes sense that you wouldn’t think an estate plan would be necessary, but it is a good idea to put together a well-drafted estate plan to protect your assets and your child’s inheritance. Even though they are the only one who stands to gain from your estate when you pass away, your estate plan can protect them and make sure they get what you want to leave behind for them.
To protect your estate, the first step is to create a will
A basic will is the first, and probably easiest, document to have put together. It can be used to name guardians for minors, but in this case, you can use it to state that you want your child to receive the estate when you pass. You can name them as the responsible party who will take care of the estate as well.
Consider your power of attorney roles
In your estate plan, you may also want to name a power of attorney to take care of your financial affairs or health care. With a power of attorney for your financial affairs, you can appoint your child, an accountant or someone else to take care of your finances. With your advance health care directive, you’ll assign someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Decide if you want your child to take on those roles or not, and assign the people whom you want to have in those roles in the correct documents.
Update your beneficiary forms
Finally, remember to update your beneficiary forms. You may still have your ex-spouse or a family member named as a beneficiary. You can change the beneficiary, and should, if you want your child to receive life-insurance payouts or other benefits when you pass.
As you can tell, single parents do need estate plans. Even if your child is grown, a good plan can be helpful in the future.