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How important are wills for Massachusetts single parents?

Undoubtedly, being a single parent is a challenge. Most Massachusetts residents dedicate their lives to raising their children the best they can. However, some may neglect to do even the most basic estate planning. Without wills, single parents may be leaving the fate of their children in the hands of the courts.

It does not matter how much money a person has when it comes to estate planning. It is about ensuring that the person or persons chosen by him or her inherit an individual's assets -- whatever they may be. More importantly for a single parent, however, could be the appointment of a guardian -- a trusted individual who will take care of his or her children if the worst happens and he or she passes away.

Without a will, a single parent is essentially relinquishing control of his or her children to the courts. Family members could spend significant time and money arguing over where the children will live and what happens to the parent's assets. In the meantime, the fate of the children may be uncertain. Therefore, not only are they mourning the loss of a parent, but they may also experience something nearly every Massachusetts parent attempts to keep their children from -- fear.

Wills are not the only estate planning documents that single parents need, but they are a good start. Ensuring the future of the children in this way is one last way of letting them know they are loved. Moreover, the parent and other family members will have the peace of mind that a plan is in place.

Source: insurancenewsnet.com, "Single? Estate Planning is Crucial", Erin E. Arvedlund, Nov. 1, 2014

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