Pinellas County Singles With Children Estate Plan

Pinellas County single persons with children need to plan for their care and financial well-being in case of incapacity or death of the parent. Raising children is a serious responsibility. The single parent’s estate plan needs to include provisions for naming guardians and trustees in case of the parent’s death and for naming agents to act when necessary during life. 

And when a Pinellas County Florida single person with children dies without any estate plan at all, then the single person’s estate usually passes by intestacy to the children, which creates many complications if they are minors.

And, as is the case without children, when a single person has no estate plan, it is his or her parents who are usually the ones legally entitled to act as health care surrogates if the single person is unable to make health care decisions. This happens even if the single person lives with another person who is more significant to them than their parents.  

That’s why it’s important for Pinellas County singles to have an estate plan: to name who they want as beneficiaries and as decision makers for them and their children.

Pinellas County Florida probate and estate lawyer James W. Martin typically drafts these estate plan documents for single persons with children:

Last Will and Testament: This legal document says two things — who is entitled to your assets at your death, and who will be your personal representative or executor after your death. This does not take effect until death. It can be revoked and a new will signed as many times as you want before death. A will does not avoid probate at death, but it names who you want to be your beneficiaries and handle your estate. When the single person has children, the will might include a testamentary trust to provide for the children until they are self-supporting, in which case it will name a trustee to hold and manage assets for the children until that time.

Living Trust: A revocable living trust is sometimes drafted to hold assets that the Pinellas County Florida single person wants to avoid probate. The trust says that the trust assets are owned for the benefit of the single person during life and then, like a will, names the beneficiaries entitled to the trust assets at death. The trust assets avoid probate on the single person’s death because it names a successor trustee to handle the trust assets at the single person’s death. The living trust, too, might include a trust for the benefit of the single person’s children at death.

Durable Power of Attorney: This appoints someone to act for you during your lifetime. This document is effective immediately when signed so it should only be used if there is someone you absolutely trust to have control over your assets during your life. It can be revoked during life, and it has no effect after death.

Living Will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: This is the legal document that names someone you trust to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. It, too, can be revoked during life, and it has no effect after death.

Declaration of Preneed Guardian: This names who you would want to be your guardian if a court ever determined you were incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs.

Declaration of Preneed Guardian for Minor: This names who you would want to be guardian of your minor children in case of your death.

Designation of Health Care Surrogate for Minor: This names who you would want to be health care surrogate for your minor children in case of your death.

Consent to Disclose Estate Plan Documents: This document is similar to a HIPAA document, but instead of medical information it says who you want your lawyer to disclose your estate plan documents to.

Pinellas County Florida probate estate and trust attorney James W. Martin has drafted hundreds of estate plans for Pinellas County Florida residents.

The text on this page was written by James W. Martin, Esq. and was last updated on May 17, 2023.

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