As a single parent, there may not be another adult for your child to rely on. While you may be happily managing everyday life, this makes planning for the future of the utmost importance. If you were to be in an accident or incapacitated, you’d want to know that your child would be well-cared for. From guardianship to assets, use the following estate planning guide to get started.

What Are Some of the Estate Planning Essentials for Single Parent?

1. Guardianship Nomination

In the instance that your son or daughter is still a minor during and after your passing, they will need to be in the care of another guardian. However, if you have not selected one, the courts may decide, or the child may be entered into the foster care system. You can avoid this uncertainty by nominating a new guardian yourself, which would be an individual you believe could offer the best possible care.

Perhaps it’s your sister, your best friend, or even a distant relative. With the Nomination of Guardian document, you can make sure that this individual is the court’s first choice. Before filling out this form, make sure to talk to the individual in question and that they’d be comfortable accepting the role. That way, you can avoid their immediate refusal at the reading of your will, which would place control back in the court’s hands.

2. Revocable Living Trust 

guardianshipYour child will need funds to thrive. If you have any savings or properties, these could all be given to your child when you pass, as long as you place them in a living trust. A revocable living trust also allows you to set terms for the assets, such as that they can only be used for a college education. You could also set an age limit, after which the child will have access to the assets in their trust.

3. Beneficiary Forms

Some assets can’t be distributed amongst your survivors through a will or trust, such as money from a life insurance policy. In this case, you’ll need to fill out beneficiary designations for these assets. As a single parent, you might want to designate the money in your retirement fund to your son or daughter, but minors cannot be legal beneficiaries. Therefore, you’ll want to use these forms to leave the assets to an individual who will take care of them until your child turns 18.


If you have additional questions about estate planning, let Sippel Law Firm PLLC of Kingman, AZ, take the lead. Attorney Sippel has over 35 years of experience walking clients through the estate planning process, from guardianships to wills and trusts. To learn more about avoiding probate or planning for your child’s future, call (928) 753-2889 to set up a consultation. You can also visit the website to learn about other practice areas like bankruptcy.