1. Has he selected an appropriate guardian?
Has your client thought about who would raise his children if he passes away or becomes incapacitated and he don’t have a spouse or partner who could take custody? If the guardian your client chooses for his children doesn’t have the finances to support them, he may want to create a trust to preserve your wealth for his children until they come of age. Proper estate planning will ensure that someone he chooses will take care of his children, instead of a state-appointed guardian.
2. Is he adequately insured?
As a single parent, your client will only have one income to support himself, save for retirement and secure his children’s financial futures. Encourage clients to consider life insurance as a source of support for their estates to make sure loved ones are taken care. Consider disability insurance to cover your client’s financial needs if he becomes incapacitated.
3. What if he becomes incapacitated?
IIn an estate plan, it’s essential to have an advance medical directive and assign someone your client trust who will make medical decisions for him if he can’t make them himself. This responsibility could reside with his children if they’re old enough, or he could arrange with a relative or close friend he trusts. Having the right estate documents will help protect your client’s finances if he becomes incapacitated.
4. Has he considered establishing a trust for his children?
A properly structured trust will ensure that your client’s assets end up with his chosen beneficiaries according to his wishes. Ideally, consider having s trust managed by a qualified third-party trustee to minimize intra-family conflicts. If your client has minor children, a trust enables him to assign when and under what circumstances funds should be distributed to them, so they don’t come under the control of a court-appointed administrator or former spouse.
5. Are his will and other estate-planning documents up to date?
Remember to update your beneficiary designations regularly, and especially during major life transitions, like divorce, remarriage or the death of a spouse. Make sure it reflects your client’s current intentions. He doesn’t want a court deciding how his assets are distributed or giving his insurance money to a former spouse.