When it comes to women and estate planning, we at The Humphreys Group agree with the prevailing wisdom among financial experts: Women should be advised and empowered to develop estate plans that reflect their unique life experiences. In many cases, this means the focus of a woman’s estate plan will differ from a man’s estate plan. Let’s discuss why:
Women today lead dynamic and complex work lives. More than ever, and in all aspects of society, working women are forging ahead with their professional careers. However, many women also continue to step out of the paid workforce for periods of time — most often to care for children or other family members. Such variances in employment can potentially impact a woman’s financial well-being in ways that may include lower earnings, less money in savings and fewer profitable investments over a lifetime. This means estate planning plays an important role in ensuring every woman’s long-term economic security.
Women often live longer than their partners. It’s meaningful to keep in mind that most women who lose a partner usually take over their own financial destinies, and also ultimately determine how they will allocate their finances to other family members, taxes, charities and additional sources. Should such a situation occur, it’s helpful for a woman to be prepared and to know what to expect from her estate planning efforts.
What does estate planning that incorporates a woman’s point of view look like? We encourage you to explore the articles we’ve linked to in this blog post, in addition to considering a few takeaways:
- Develop a will, a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. These core documents are a good place to begin the estate planning journey. Women should make sure any estate planning-related paperwork reflects how they specifically wish to designate and delegate their personal and financial assets and, should the need arise, health care on their behalf.
- Operate with a sense of security, confidence and planning. Advisors recommend that one should secure any information related to their estate plan for safekeeping and note that information about accounts and documents should be shared with a limited number of trusted individuals, among them a financial advisor. Further advice: Hold conversations with relevant family members about your estate plan long before the plan is enacted. Topics to address might include business succession plans, inheritances or proposed charitable giving.
We believe women are best served when they are knowledgeable about their family finances as well as in charge of their individual financial responsibilities and strategies. Contact The Humphreys Group to learn more about how estate planning can benefit you.