Single parent trusts look slightly different from that of a married parent. Usually, in a married revocable living trust for married parents, the trust language and laws are set in place to ensure that both the custody and the property go to the surviving spouse. However, for single parents, the courts will determine your next of kin and disperse your property accordingly. For minor children, the courts will appoint a guardian based on California laws. Although it’s great that these laws are set in place as a default when there is no will or trust in place, it is not so great when the person[s] the court chooses are not the people you would have chosen yourself. Worse yet, they may choose the exact opposite of the person you would want to have guardianship over your child[ren].
Common guardians to have custody of a child upon the parent’s death are usually the other parent, grandparents, a close aunt, or relative. In many families, any of these would be a good choice. However, if there has been a falling out between family members, or the grandparent is too elderly, or the other parent is insufficiently able to care for the child[ren], then perhaps a better choice could have been made.
Appointing a guardian is only of the most pressing issues for which a single parent would need to see an estate planning attorney such as OC Wills & Trusts. We can help you create a financial plan to help support your child[ren] even if you are not there such as a trust that not only protects the money from certain creditors against the beneficiary, but also protects them from being heavily taxed as well as give you a say on how the money is to be allocated/spent.
We make sure that everything is in order for your estate planning needs, and also follow up with you in the event of new emerging laws. Since every family is unique, we attorneys here at OC Wills & Trusts do our very best to make sure you have the best plan that works for your specific needs.