The concept of family has evolved. It’s not uncommon for men or women these days to decide that they really don’t want to get married at all, but they do want to have a child and be a parent. The families they form may include the child’s birth father or mother—or not. It’s really up to them to define their version of the new American family.
Introducing Mary: A 34-year-old pregnant surfer
One such woman, “Mary” recently came in to our Walnut Creek office. She is 34, lives in Danville, has a great job, loves to surf at Ocean Beach—and is five months pregnant with a little girl. She and her boyfriend, “Oliver” have been together for five years, and he’s a software salesman who does a fair amount of traveling. When she told him that she was pregnant, he wanted to get married. But while she loves Oliver, she doesn’t want to marry him.
Mary owns two properties—a four-unit apartment in Alameda and the home in Danville in which she lives. It had been her grandmother’s house, and when she died, Mary and her parents became equal owners.
Having a child will dramatically change her lifestyle
Mary is healthy, happy and eagerly anticipating the birth of her daughter. She knows that being a single mother is going to be challenging and that her lifestyle will change dramatically. Even with her demanding job, she knows she must prioritize the needs of her new daughter.
But Mary has always wanted to have children, and she knows that this is the right time. She also knows she can count on her strong support system, including Oliver. Her parents, who live close by, are ecstatic about the prospect of their first grandchild. Mary also has friends and extended family members who live in the East Bay, and she knows she will need to rely on all of these people as she navigates her new life as a single mom.
What happens to her daughter if something happens to Mary?
Mary is worried, however, about what would happen to her daughter if something happened to her. She wants to make sure her daughter would inherit her assets, but she also wants to make it easy for Oliver to raise their child.
Here’s how California Document Preparers helped Mary provide for her daughter:
- We created Mary’s Living Trust package from the information she provided in our easy-to-use workbook.
- She named Oliver and her father as Co-trustees.
- Mary left the apartment to Oliver and her home to her parents.
- She named Oliver as the child's guardian and her sister as a backup guardian.
- Our comprehensive Living Trust package includes a Power of Attorney, and she decided that her father, an attorney, will be her Financial Power of Attorney, with Oliver as the backup.
- Mary named Oliver, her sister, mother and father on her Advance Healthcare Directive.
- We also did two Deeds transfers for Mary; the Alameda apartment building is 100% in her Trust and her grandmother’s Danville home is 50% in her parents’ Trust and 50% in her new Trust.
Mary is delighted that we were able to take care of her Trust in one week--long before her child is due. It is giving her peace of mind as she prepares for the birth of her daughter.
There’s a common misperception that Living Trusts are just for old people! In the same way that Mary wanted to provide for her daughter if something happened to her, anyone with dependents should have a Trust.