Many adults fail to make an estate plan, but it can be especially important for single parents in Georgia and around the country to do so. One of the functions of an estate plan for parents is to appoint someone to be guardian for their children. While this could be the other parent, if that parent is unable to step into this role for any reason, appointing a guardian can ensure that the child is raised by someone a parent chooses.
An estate plan is also an opportunity for a parent to leave instructions about how the child should be raised. While not all of these instructions may be legally enforceable, it still lets loved ones know what the parent's wishes are. The parent may want to create a trust that can receive the parent's assets. The child may have varying degrees of control over the trust depending on the parent's wishes. For example, a parent may only want the money to go toward education and similar pursuits. On the other hand, parents may leave this largely at the discretion of the trustee.
Before preparing an estate plan, parents may want to think about who they would want to have visitation rights to their child. The parent might also think about whether anyone but the guardian would be allowed to take the child on vacation.
An attorney may be able to help a parent in creating a trust for minor children. Parents may want to create trusts for adult children for a number of reasons as well. Turning 18 does not confer automatic maturity in handling money, and some parents may want children to wait until they are older to receive distributions. Trusts can also be established to help adult children with special needs without interfering with their access to government benefits.