Whether single or married, estate planning should be a high priority for women. Life expectancy of women in the United States continues to exceed the life expectancy of men, and in the U.S. women earn only $.79 for every $1 men earned. As a result, women earn less money but need to make it last longer. As a result, women have more to lose if they are financially unprepared for the future. These estate planning tips for women can help women take control of their futures to protect themselves and their families.
1. Identify a Health Care Proxy
If you become incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t appoint a health care proxy, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person your trust. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a durable power of attorney, a legal device that allows one person to indefinitely make decisions on behalf of another.
2. Designate a Financial POA
Are you single, but with a life partner? Are you estranged from family members? Who do you trust to take care of your finances if you become incapacitated? A durable power of attorney is used to allow the designated person to handle affairs in a certain area of the principal’s life, such as in financial matters.
3. Have A Digital Assets Strategy
Digital assets are any electronic files, programs or records that you own or that you control. Document all your social media account logins, intellectual property, digital currency accounts and other electronic assets so that your heirs can follow your instructions after your death.
4. Have a Business Succession Plan
More women than ever own businesses – women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 39% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues. Protect your business, employees and heirs by creating a plan to manage or sell your business if you die or become incapacitated.
5. Asset Protection
Whether you own a business, property, money or other valuable assets, you want to be sure your assets are protected for your heirs. A will and trusts attorney can advise you on the best way to protect your assets and avoid unnecessary taxes that will limit your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
Women have unique concerns in estate planning – due to longer lifespans and lower earning power, women have more to lose if they are financially unprepared. Prepare for the future by contacting an experienced estate planning attorney at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois at 630-800-0112.