As a recent article in Forbes points out, everyone can benefit from creating a good estate plan, but women may be in a greater need than men. If you’re a woman and haven’t begun your estate planning efforts yet, there are several reasons you should consider starting soon.
- Women live longer. The lifespan of the average woman is about 5.3 years longer than a man’s. Further, women have a higher tendency to marry men who are older than they are, meaning there is a good chance that your husband will die before you. When this happens, you will likely have a larger estate to distribute than your husband did, and will have to be well prepared to ensure you can pass on as much as possible.
- Women face additional health issues. If you don’t designate someone to make medical decisions for you while you still can, the task may fall to someone who is unfamiliar with your desires. You may also have specific health wishes you want to specifically address, by making a living will or appointing a healthcare power of attorney.
- Your children need care. No mother wants her children left in the hands of a questionable guardian. However, if you die without naming a guardian to care for your children, a court may choose someone whom you would never had chosen yourself. An estate plan allows you to pick your own guardian. More importantly, starting the estate planning process forces you to think about who would make a good guardian and how your children will be cared for if the unthinkable should happen.