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Estate Planning for Single Parents

If you are raising your children on your own, your days are probably filled to the brim with work, kids’ activities and taking care of the household.  Solo parenting is challenging and you probably don’t have time for much else.  There’s no doubt that parenting requires a lot of responsibility and even more so if you are managing it on your own.

As hard as it is to think about, it’s important to consider what would happen to your kids if you died suddenly or became incapacitated and were no longer able to look after them.  As uncomfortable as it is to think about these possibilities, it’s essential to the well-being of your kids that you plan ahead.  Putting a plan in place now, allows you to rest assured that your children will be well-cared for even if the unthinkable does happen.

In Pennsylvania, a spouse is the first in line to make financial and healthcare related decisions for an individual who is incapable of doing so on his or her own.  However, if you are unmarried, separated or in the process of getting divorced, determining who will make decisions on your behalf becomes much more complex.

Fortunately, with the right kind of planning and preparation, your children will be taken care of even if you are not able to do so yourself.  A thorough estate plan will help you sleep better at night now and will reduce conflict and stress for your loved ones in the future.

Below is a list of essential estate planning documents that you might consider:

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust enables you to manage your assets while you are still able to do so yourself. However, if you pass away or become incapacitated before your children reach adulthood, the trust allows you to designate someone to administer your finances and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries in accordance to your wishes.


Your will provides you with the ability to name who will be responsible for your estate and who will receive your assets when you pass away. Your will can also be used to name a guardian for your children.

Power of Attorney

Your power of attorney allows you to designate someone you trust to take care of your legal decisions and financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

Advanced Health Care Directive

Like your power of attorney, your health care directive gives you the opportunity to name a trusted individual who will have the ability to make decisions about your health care if you are not able.


As a parent, you instinctively want to protect your children as much as possible and the idea of not being around to raise them is hard to think about.  However, with the proper estate planning in place, you will gain the peace of mind knowing that your children will be taken care of even if you are not able to do so yourself.

To discuss your specific needs as a single parent, and to find out how our estate planning attorneys in Pittsburgh can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.