Stay-at-Home Parents and Estate Planning

Most Americans strive to earn a decent-sized paycheck to support themselves and their families when they go to work. Many of our clients have one working spouse and another that cares for their children throughout the day. Stay-at-home parents work to provide valuable nonfinancial contributions to their families every day. They make sure that the home runs smoothly and that their family members have what they need to be successful and happy. Does this describe your family? If something were to happen to the stay-at-home parent, how would your family’s needs be met?

Comprehensive Approach to Protecting Your Family

A financial advisor might be helpful to quantify the value that a stay-at-home parent brings to your family. After understanding this value, an insurance agent could be consulted to help you determine what kind of insurance is necessary.

Additional Planning Considerations

In addition to the above-mentioned items, a properly drafted estate plan can ensure that your money and property are protected and used in a way that matches your ultimate wishes. This is important in the case of death, or if either parent was to become disabled or incapacitated. In this case, they would likely be unable to complete the same tasks as they did before. If you have not created an estate plan, the state’s default plan will take effect upon your death.

If you’re unsure what this means for you here in Ohio, set up a consultation with Attorney Haer at our office to learn more about the laws of heirship in our state!

Choosing a Guardian for Minor Children

We can also help you name a guardian for your minor children. If the other legal parent is still alive and able to care for the minor children, they can continue to provide care or assume caregiver responsibilities. It is also a good idea to plan for what would happen if both legal parents were unable to care for the children, just in case.

Although you can name a guardian (and multiple backup guardians) for a minor child in a Last Will and Testament, this document does not become effective until you die. Therefore, you should also name a guardian (and multiple backup guardians) to care for your minor children if both parents were to be alive but unable to provide care, in a separate writing that meets state law requirements. If you do not proactively and legally establish your choice for your minor children’s guardian, a judge will make the decision for you.

The judge will refer to state law regarding which relative would be first in line to be responsible for the children’s care and custody. This person may or may not be the one you would have chosen. The law gives preference to family members, but the court does not have the time or resources to learn everything you know about these people before deciding on a suitable guardian. Choosing a guardian and a couple of backup guardians in writing gives you a voice in the proceedings.

Protecting families is our passion. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to help protect you and your family. Call us at 614-429-1053 to schedule your free estate planning consultation or visit our website to learn more about our firm and process.