Estate Planning for Women: Five Things to Consider
It is impossible to overstate the importance of estate planning to any person who desires to pass assets and wealth on to loved ones, but it can be especially important for women to do so. For one thing, they tend to live longer than men, which means they are more likely to outlive a spouse, or to remarry. It also means they are more likely to need more money for long-term care in their sunset years.
Because of all of this, women have several unique estate planning issues that need to be addressed. Therefore, let's look at a few of these.
- Of course, the most important thing is, women need wills too.
Quite often, women make a very dangerous assumption; that their husband's will is sufficient for both of them. Others tend to believe that, if they talk about it enough, someone will know and understand her wishes when she dies, or that her children will automatically split her assets upon her death. Women need to understand that a will is an important piece of insurance, to make sure her interests are protected and that her wishes are heard and carried out precisely as she intends, without all of the red tape.
- Women must have a durable power of attorney.
Because women live approximately six years longer than men, on average, they are more likely to spend the last years of their life alone, and the odds are greater that they will become incapacitated at some point. Because of these realities, appointing someone trustworthy to make important financial decisions for them after their husband passes away is imperative.
- Women should be extra cautious if they decide to remarry.
It has become more common in recent years for senior women to remarry, whether it's because of a divorce late in life or their spouse passes. However, a senior woman who remarries should be aware of the potential risks and protect her financial interests and those of her children and grandchildren. There are a number of ways to do this, by creating a series of trusts, setting up a gift-giving plan, or through a prenuptial agreement.
- Estate planning during a divorce is very important for women
According to a number of studies, women are more likely than men to receive the marital home in the divorce, but far less likely to receive their fair share of investment accounts and retirement accounts. Women should always keep their future estate in mind when they divorce, whether they do so in their older years or when they're younger, and they should realize they often have a right to a share of their family's accounts.
- After your spouse dies, reevaluate your estate plan.
When a woman is left alone by the death of a spouse, she has a lot of crucial decisions to make regarding any assets that have been accumulated. That is the case, even if she and her spouse previously made all of the estate planning decisions together. It is now very important that she preserve sufficient retirement assets to be able to live and to make sure that the family’s wealth eventually passes on to those people and causes she cares about most.
When planning an estate. Women who wish to protect their wealth and who want to make sure her assets go to the right people have quite a few decisions to make.