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Maura Curran, Attorney
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Myths and Frequently Asked Questions – Estate Planning for Single Parents

Estate Planning for Single Parents


Hey there all you savvy single parents out there! Let’s dive into some of these myths and FAQs about estate planning, shall we?

Myth 1: “I don’t need a plan. My kids will just naturally inherit everything.”

Oh, you rebel optimist, you. While it’s true that your kids are in line to inherit, it’s not as automatic as you might think. Without a solid estate plan, minor children will have to tap dance through the legal hoops of probate. Not only will a judge who does not know you need to find someone to be a guardian for your youngsters if they’re still minors, but they will also be another party named to watch over their money and personal property. And trust me, letting a court decide who handles your kids’ finances isn’t exactly ideal. Any time the guardian needs money for your child, they have to hire an attorney, petition the court, and get an order to access the funds. Plus, when those little rascals hit legal adulthood, eighteen here in Florida, they’ll get their hands on everything you’ve left behind without any safety nets. What would your 18-year-old self do with a boatload of money? So, if you want a say in who raises your kids and who manages their dough, and how they get it, an estate plan is your golden ticket.

Myth 2: “I’m not exactly swimming in cash, so I don’t need a fancy estate plan.”

Ah, the old”modest means” argument. Look, estate planning isn’t just about divvying up your treasure chest after you’re gone. It’s about making sure your wishes are followed when you can’t call the shot yourself. Whether you’re on a remote island, out of commission temporarily, or have taken the ultimate exit, an estate plan lets you name the folks you trust to handle your minor kids and your life decisions.

Now, here comes the grand finale, the frequently asked question that’s been keeping you up at night:

Question: “How do I hand over the family jewels to my munchkins in the best way possible?”

Well, well, well, that’s a loaded one! The answer’s a bit like picking the perfect movie snack-it depends on your flavor. But generally, it’s wise to park any cash or valuables you want your kiddos to get in a trust. That way, you’re still the captain of the ship even when you’re not around. You get to pick who steers the financial ship on behalf of your minors, and when they can unlock the treasure chest.

You’ve got two options: there’s the “Make-Ahead Marvel” -a revocable trust you whip up while you’re still kickin’. This one gives you control and can stay off the courts’ radar, keeping things nice and private. Then there’s the “Final Act” a testamentary trust. This star enters the scene only after you’ve taken your final bow. But here’s the kicker: it needs a court stamp to get rolling, and its moves are more public and any joe can see what your kid is getting and when. Don’t you think there are scammers out there pulling court files? Go to the courthouse, you’ll see them.