Women face unique challenges when establishing their estate plans. Your needs and values may be different than those of your male counterparts. Creating a solid estate plan involves addressing these issues so that you don't face hardships years down the road.
While no one wants to dwell on what their death will look like or how it will impact their family, addressing these issues now will save your family time, expense, and potential heartache later in life. If you are a woman thinking about the health of your financial future, consider some of these estate planning risks.
Women Live Longer Than Men
Worldwide, women live longer than men. Often, this fact is overlooked when estate planning, even among families. If a woman's spouse dies before she does, she may be saddled with the responsibility of managing her partner's estate. Without a solid estate plan, this can be challenging and overwhelming. Are you the executor of your partner's estate? A beneficiary? What happens when you pass if you and your partner create an estate plan together? Women may need to consider these questions as they are planning. If a partner passes, a woman may need to create a new estate plan of her own to reallocate assets or change up beneficiaries.
Poor estate planning as partners may also impact women in the form of large estate taxes levied on the surviving partner. These taxes can be significant and might require you to liquidate assets, changing the nature of surviving spouse's financial future and estate plan.
If a woman does not have an estate plan that addresses her specific wishes, the unintentional consequences can be disastrous and include:
- Assets going to unintended beneficiaries
- Lengthy litigation erupting between loved ones causing a rift in family dynamics
- Important legal decisions being made by a court
- Significant tax implications
- Estate being broken up or sold
An Estate Plan Is About Protection
There is a misconception that an estate plan is simply a method for dispersing your assets and possessions after death. While that is one vital piece to a strong estate plan, it isn't the only piece. An estate plan can also protect a woman when she is most vulnerable.
What happens when a significant illness or injury overcomes a woman? Who will handle her medical treatment choices and decide the outcome of her future or end-of-life care? Women need a solid estate plan that will address these critical questions. Consider adding these elements to your estate plan:
- Power of attorney
- Living will
- Advance directive
- Medical proxy
Why Women Need Their Own Estate Plan
Your financial security and well-being are vital. Without a strong estate plan, you and your family may not be prepared for what's to come. You deserve the peace of mind and protection that an estate plan can offer, one that takes your unique situation and needs into consideration.
If you are ready to talk about your estate planning options, talk to a Brazos County estate planning attorney today. You deserve practical and sound financial advice that will help protect you and your family. To schedule a consultation, simply call 979-703-7014 and mention this blog post.