The harsh truth is that we all leave this world eventually. What we do in our time here matters, and certain actions are crucial to protecting ourselves and our loved ones in the event of our death or incapacitation. 

No matter your net worth or marital status, everyone should plan their estate. Here, we take a look at four critical reasons this is especially important for women.

1. Women Typically Live Longer Than Men

Women outlive their male counterparts by several years, on average. This means that they need to make their assets last longer. It also means that wives tend to outlive their husbands, which results in them likely inheriting their husband’s estate and leaving them to make final decisions on their heirs. These are major financial decisions that impact women’s lives.

2. Most Custodial Parents Are Women

Approximately 84% of custodial parents are women. Parents of young children should plan for their continued care in the event of the unforeseen. Additionally, parents should plan for who will handle the child’s property until they are of age to make their own decisions.

3. Women are Business Owners and Professionals

Women blaze their own career paths and are dynamic business owners and leaders. Whether they are the top earners in their households or not, career-driven women contribute significantly to their household’s income and should be involved in the decision making of their assets. 

4. Some Women Take Career Breaks to Raise a Family

Not all women have an uninterrupted career history. It is still very common for family responsibilities to fall on women, leaving some to take a break from work to raise children. This break in work can reduce the amount of savings these women accumulate for their retirement. Therefore, an organized estate plan can help with transferring of assets. 

5. What Documents Should Every Woman Have in Place?

Essentially, estate planning is the process of creating documents that reflect how individuals want their personal and financial assets to be distributed after their death, or if someone becomes physically or mentally unable to make decisions while still alive.

Every woman should have these basic documents in place:

  • A will – a legal document that directs how your financial and physical assets should be distributed at your death.
  • A living will – states your wishes for “end-of-life care.”
  • A power of attorney – appoints one or more people to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.

As trusted financial advisors, we want to help empower women to make these important financial decisions. If you don’t know where to start and are looking for guidance, please contact us today.