Women And Estate Planning

Blond middle-aged woman in faded mom jeans and diamond-knit tan cardigan sitting in saucer chair on porch or deck surrounded by planters bearing impatiens and other flowers, holding laptop and laughing at a message on her phone; concept for women and estate planning.

Women And Estate Planning

Households have changed dramatically in recent years, along with women’s roles and earning power. They also have longer life expectancies than men, and those who place their careers on hold to raise families may accumulate less savings for retirement. Further, many women are trained from birth to be caregivers, and having a sound plan provides them peace of mind, knowing their loved ones will not suffer a financial burden upon their death. While estate planning is essential for everyone, women may have estate planning priorities distinct from those of their male peers. A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer at Loughlin Law, P.A. may be able to answer your questions about women and estate planning. Call (561) 677-8384 to schedule a consultation.

Women Manage More Wealth Today

Women worldwide accumulate and manage more wealth today than at any other time in modern history. They are top executives, savvy investors, and entrepreneurs, who make their own financial decisions. However, many women do not have an estate plan safeguarding their assets and preparing for the distribution of their estate to loved ones after their deaths. Utilizing the practical estate planning tools available today gives women as well as men the opportunity to make crucial decisions, including medical care and life-preserving preferences, should there come a time they cannot make them in the future, establish a plan for how their belongings should be handed down to friends and family once they are gone, and leave behind a lasting legacy.

Women and Estate Planning Basics

For many of the same reasons as their male counterparts, women can use estate planning tools to manage wealth during their lifetime, and direct the distribution of their assets after their death. As more women continue to break free of the old-school traditional gender roles, increasing numbers of women are discovering the need for estate planning documents that include, but go beyond, the basics of a Last Will and Testament and advance directives or powers of attorney. A qualified lawyer at Loughlin Law, P.A. understands the complexities of women and estate planning and can help tailor the documents according to their goals.

What Are the Three Elements of an Estate Plan?

A strong estate plan has three primary elements: the creation and execution of a Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney, and beneficiary designations. Making those the priority allows estate planners to make crucial decisions about beneficiaries and the transfer of assets, either before or after death. While most people are familiar with the concept of a will, and with the banking accounts and life insurance policies that regularly receive beneficiary designations, powers of attorney may be less commonly understood.

A power of attorney or POA will enable them to choose someone they trust to step in and make essential decisions if there comes a time that they are unable to make them themselves. According to the American Bar Association, the person estate planners select as power of attorney has the legal authority to make any decision or action as provided by the legal document. Some individuals will wish to create financial powers of attorney, but medical powers of attorney, granting authority to make healthcare and end-of-life decisions in the event of one’s own incapacity, have broad applicability for both men and women. For those with minor children, choosing guardians to care for them if needed is also essential to estate planning.   

Distribution of Inheritance Before Death

Passing down an inheritance to beneficiaries is an essential goal for most. Usually, property and assets will pass to children and other beneficiaries upon death. However, some individuals may find passing assets to loved ones during their own lifetime may also provide benefits, depending on their circumstances. One common way to transfer assets to beneficiaries while alive is by establishing a trust. The legal documents establish separate entities, allowing the trust creator to dictate how and when to distribute the property and assets.

There are advantages and disadvantages, and understanding both is crucial to deciding if it is appropriate for people to meet their estate planning goals. Some possible benefits to transferring property and assets to beneficiaries during life include potential tax benefits, witnessing how the inheritance helps loved ones, and reducing family conflicts that may occur after death. A possible disadvantage is inadequate planning to prepare for their own financial needs. When that happens, women can live their final years dependent on their children or other beneficiaries.

Important Estate Planning Strategies for Women

Preparing a well-thought-out and organized estate plan protects women, their loved ones, and their assets, and can help to ensure they leave a lasting legacy. While men and women share many of the same estate planning issues, the latter may have a distinct set of concerns.

Some of the most powerful estate planning strategies for women and men alike include:

  • Clearly outline final wishes using the available tools, such as a will, advanced healthcare directives, and powers of attorney
  • Carefully selecting the right people to carry out their final wishes
  • Establish guardianship for dependents, if applicable
  • Consider revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Choose beneficiaries for retirement accounts and review and update them as needed
  • Take advantage of estate planning tax exemptions
  • Preparation for the potential of needing long-term care
  • Include digital assets while planning
  • Keep beneficiaries up to date about the plan
  • Review the estate plan regularly and update it as needed

Regular reviews of estate plans to update documents and make changes are also crucial to ensure their loved ones know how to fulfill their final wishes when the time comes. That is particularly true after significant life-changing events. According to The Florida Bar, most married estate planners designate their spouses as beneficiaries and health care surrogates. Reviewing and updating the legal documents is essential after separation or divorce.

How Estate Planning Can Help Women Secure Their Legacy

The best time to start preparing is today. Women of all ages can use functional estate planning tools to devise how and when they want to distribute their assets and take care of their loved ones long after they are gone. A sound estate plan is a vital part of empowerment and financial management. Whether married or single, with children or without, estate planning can help women achieve their financial goals and leave a lasting legacy.

Call an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today

Taking an active role in estate planning is essential for women for countless reasons. Preparation allows you to make important decisions about end-of-life care, protect those you love the most, and manage and safeguard your assets. The process also involves making decisions about end-of-life care and who should step in to make crucial decisions if you become incapacitated. While suffering a severe illness or injury and death may not be pleasant topics to think about, preparing for a broad range of eventualities is the most effective way to protect yourself and ensure those you select understand your wishes to carry out your final affairs. A knowledgeable lawyer at Loughlin Law, P.A. may be able to answer your questions about women and estate planning. Call (561) 677-8384 to schedule a consultation. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.