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Thread: Question about incidence of death of both parents.

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Question about incidence of death of both parents.

    1) I signed up for this site because I have a question. It's out of my field, and I don't know how to research it, but believe that an actuary might be able to help.
    2) I work in a field where I encourage people to make estate plans, e.g., Wills, Living trusts, etc.
    3) I'm working on a presentation for young couples who have minor children. I'm encouraging them to create a Will in order to nominate a Guardian for their children. This is important in the event of the death of both parents.
    4) I wonder. How often does it happen that both parents are dead and leave minor children behind?
    5) It would help my presentation to know. How would I research this? Is it an actuarial question?
    6) Thanks!

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Have you tried contacting foster care centers. If you're trying to sell your service or estate planning, I don't think you want to tell people how low the probability of this happening is. Stress that it could happen, not that it probably won't happen.

    I think that the couple would better be served if they grant someone power of attorney if they become in any way incapacitated.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Guardianship

    KEN, Thanks for your reply and suggestion.
    I work for a public foundation. One of our tasks is to assist people in making estate plans. We've not had a presentation specifically directed at young couples with children. That's why I'm working on this.
    I understand that the situation of both parents being dead is a rare event. How rare? That's what I'd like to know.
    As to power of attorney taking care of this problem... it won't. POA might take care of a situation where the parent or parents are alive but incapacitated. But in the case of the death of both parents, the state steps in, takes the child (or children), and begins a process of determining who the legal guardian will be.
    Many parents prefer to be in charge of this, and will nominate a guardian through a Will.
    So, our organization educates, encourages, and in some instances, will act as personal representative for their Will.
    Children being orphans in the United States is a rare event, but it still occurs. How often? That figure must exist somewhere. Or, can it be extrapolated from other data?
    bjdixon

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