As a woman, you need to take charge of your life and make sure the things in your life are organized as you want them. Times have changed – many women now hold positions of power and are in high-profile jobs. This means women now have increased assets. Women also have a higher life expectancy than men. What does this mean for estate planning? Well, all you women out there need to think about how to protect your hard-earned assets and also how to plan for your end-of-life and personal care decisions because you are likely to live longer than your husband.
The following are some issues you need to consider when putting together your estate planning documents.
1. Have your own estate planIf you’re married, you likely own joint assets with your husband, and your estate plan will likely be very much intertwined with your husband. But, you may also have your own assets. Don’t feel pressured to rely on your husband’s estate plan for your own assets. In the event you are a widow, you need to consider your own estate plan for sure now. Again, you don’t want to simply rely on your husband’s plan, which may be different than what you wish to happen to your assets.
2. Have a power of attorneySince women live longer, you are likely going to need someone to assist you in the later stages of your life with your finances and personal care, if you are mentally incapable of doing so yourself.
3. Get insuranceOnce again, because you are likely to have a longer life expectancy than your husband, you may want to consider long-term care insurance or other appropriate assurances that will be of assistance to you when you get older.
4. Know your assetsAlthough times are changing and more women are becoming empowered with respect to their finances, we still see the situation where a woman does not have a lot of information about her family assets and her own assets, because the husband takes care of that stuff.Your husband may not always be around, so get to know your finances. Know what bank accounts you have, what investments you have, what retirement accounts you have, what insurances you have, and what debts you have.
5. Changing your will if your relationship status changesIf you find yourself going through a separation or divorce, you need to get a will or amend your existing will to reflect the change in your status. After a separation, your assets will likely look different. You also may need to reconsider your executors and beneficiaries.
If you’re a woman and want to get your estate planning for Women in order, give us a call!