While estate planning is important to all people there are a number of issues that specifically impact women. These issues, if not properly addressed, can lead to insufficient assets, inappropriate long term care, disinherited children, and a host of other outcomes. In today’s blog post, you will learn what these issues are as well as specific steps women can take to overcome these challenges!
3 ESTATE PLANNING ISSUES THAT IMPACT WOMEN
ISSUE #1: Women Typically Live Longer Than Men
In addition to women typically living longer than men, they are also more likely to marry an older person. This essentially increases the odds that a women will become a widow at some point in their lives.
So, before this situation arises, it’s very important to plan today. Following are a couple of things that you can do:
First, ensure that you and your husband have enough life insurance. If you don’t, then you could face retirement as a widow with insufficient assets to maintain your standard of living.
Second, plan to obtain long term care insurance sooner rather than later. Should you find yourself a widow at some point in your life, you’ll want to have plans in place to protect yourself should you become incapacitated without a spouse to care for you. And this is where long term care insurance comes into play.
ISSUE #2: Husbands Typically Handle the Finances
In many marriages, husbands typically handle the finances. As a result, women are often times unfamiliar with how to handle their financial affairs.
To remedy this issue, consider working with a financial planner. A financial planner will be someone who knows your situation and can instantly help out in the event that you find yourself alone.
Additionally, they can help you prepare for the future and plan for any situations (such as death or incapacity) that could arise. Since women typically live longer than men, it will be important to do proper planning so that your assets can last your entire lifetime.
ISSUE #3: Remarriage
Remarriage is a situation that could cause you to unintentionally disinherit a child(ren), a family member, a friend, or even yourself.
Imagine for a moment that you get remarried and you anticipate receiving your new husband’s pension, but instead his ex-wife receives it. This actually happened to a couple in 2001. And it’s something that I would venture to say happens more often than it should.
Often times, when a life changing event, such as a divorce or remarriage, occurs, beneficiaries don’t get updated on investments, insurance policies, checking / savings accounts, etc…
Also, estate planning documents might be outdated or were never drafted in the first place.
If these things are not in order then the courts and / or your State will determine who receives assets. And it may not be who you wish!
To protect against this, ensure that you have the appropriate estate planning documents drafted or updated.
Additionally, make sure that all beneficiaries are updated to properly reflect your wishes.
While these issues tend to impact women, a little bit of planning can go a long way to protect them! Start planning today to make sure that your wishes are carried out, your retirement assets are sufficient, and your care is provided for. Doing so will also provide the added peace of mind knowing that things are in order whether disaster strikes or not.
If you’re new to our blog and want to receive financial planning tips and educational information, then sign up to receive our eContent.
Is estate planning something that you’ve put off? Why or why not? Please share any thoughts, comments, or questions below.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™