Single parents work hard for their children. Every day it falls to the single parent to provide just about everything for his or her children, and with 13 million single parent households in the US, there are a whole lot of folks doing their best to provide everything their children need today. So it’s no wonder that those in Northwest Iowa want to protect the children they would leave behind should they be killed or become incapacitated. Working with an Iowa guardianship lawyer is the right step to make sure those children are also provided for in the future.
Different Situation Means Different Concerns
As a single parent, your estate plan may look different from that of a married parent. In those cases, there are laws in place to ensure that both property and custody have a means of passing to the surviving spouse. In your case, however, the courts would determine your next of kin and disperse your property, as well as appoint a guardian, based on Iowa state laws. While it’s great that there are laws like this to rely on when a single parent dies with no will in place, it’s not necessarily such a wonderful thing if the person/people named are not those you would have chosen yourself.
For example, it’s quite common for grandparents to be given custody of a child upon the parent’s death. In many families, that would be the perfect choice. In others, however, a better choice could be made. Perhaps there has been a falling out between family members, or it’s possible that the grandparents are either too old or just otherwise not in the right place in their lives to be starting over raising children. Location, lifestyle, and parenting approach are all important factors to consider in selecting a guardian for your children.
Other Critical Issues for Single Parents
Clearly, appointing a guardian for your child or children is one of the most pressing issues to see an estate planning attorney in Northwest Iowa about. It’s not the only one, though. An estate planning expert can also help you to create a financial plan to help support your child even if you aren’t there. You might be advised to look into a life insurance policy or to participate in an Iowa college savings plan. Likely, your estate planning lawyer will also help you to create a detailed trust or trusts which can not only protect some of the money from being heavily taxed, but also give you some say over how the money is to be used and by whom.
An estate planning attorney will help you to make sure that everything is in order. They’ll ask you about bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and even military service, as all of these can possibly be directed to the care of your child or children. Every family, no matter what the marital status is, is unique. With the help of a Northwest Iowa estate planning lawyer, you can put together a plan that works for your specific situation.