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Estate Planning for Single Parents

Single parenthood places extra demands on your time and attention. It’s easy to get so caught up in day-to-day necessities that you forget to look ahead, but estate planning for single parents is essential. This is especially true in cases where there isn’t a shared custody agreement. Estate planning ensures your children are cared for, no matter what happens.

Revise Your Estate Plan

If you’ve recently become a single parent, it’s time to review and revise your current estate plan. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s a similar process to preparing for families with both parents, although there are special considerations.

  1. Naming a guardian for minors. If your minor children don’t have a second parent with legal rights, your estate plan must first specify a guardian to take custody of them.
  2. Establishing a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement where a parent can outline instructions to be carried out in his or her absence. Because minors cannot directly inherit property, it is advisable to establish a trust that outlines how funds are to be used. Without an estate plan, your assets could be tied up in probate until the courts assign a guardian to oversee them. It’s best to think ahead so your children have immediate financial support, and you’re able to determine when funds are distributed. A trust can also specify more abstract things, like who may advise your children on important life decisions.
  3. Do you need a living will? A living will is a written statement that details a person’s wishes regarding their medical treatment in the event they’re incapacitated or no longer able to communicate consent. As a single parent, it’s important to designate someone to advocate medical choices on your behalf, should the need ever arise.

Estate planning for single parents can be more complicated. There are other things to consider, such as creating a durable power of attorney, whether or not you’re adequately insured, or what happens if you remarry and your new spouse has children of their own. A law firm can walk you through scenarios, and help facilitate the legal process. At Lewman Law, we would be pleased to support you in reviewing your existing estate plan, or drafting one for the first time.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

Non-crisis Planning for Long Term Elder Care

We don’t want to imagine a future time when our health declines, or our
loved ones are unwell, so most of us don’t plan properly for long term elder
care. But having legal documents and financial preparations in order allows for peace of mind.

These are difficult conversations to have, but advanced planning offers more options. Decisions as important as long term elder care shouldn’t be rushed, which is what happens when we operate in crisis mode. A lawyer can empower you with the right knowledge to help your family through this overwhelming process so you aren’t caught off guard.

Have a Plan: Advanced Medi-Cal Planning

People are now living longer than ever. Nearly two-thirds of us will require
some form of long term elder care in our twilight years. Medi-Cal is worth
considering. It’s a government program in California that covers extended
health costs in a skilled facility. But qualifying for Medi-Cal takes time, and
it’s best to understand a program fully before it’s needed.

There are some misconceptions about Medi-Cal’s eligibility requirements
that a lawyer can help you navigate. Part of the issue is that regulations are
complicated and change frequently. But Medi-Cal is a good backup resource
for patients in skilled nursing homes because there’s no cap on the number of days a patient can stay in their care facility. Unfortunately, Medicare
coverage eventually runs out.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Most of us will face medical legal considerations someday. Having a plan in
place for a loved one’s estate and long term elder care offers stability in
uncertain times. A lawyer can help with Medi-Cal eligibility planning, as
well as reduce or prevent the government from later collecting against your assets to recover the expense of extended care.

There are emotional and financial costs, but taking steps while you and your loved ones are healthy is an investment in your family’s future protection.

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