Women And Estate Planning In 2024: What You Need To Know

  • Estate Planning
Women And Estate Planning In 2024: What You Need To Know | estate and probate legal group

To some people, the words estate planning are reserved for the ultra-wealthy, but that is not true. All individuals should have an estate plan – especially women. Since women have a longer life expectancy and, according to McKinsey & Company, will hold nearly 67% of the nation’s wealth by 2030, women need to be concerned with estate planning. In the past, men were the ones to handle household finances, but more and more women are beginning to join their spouses in balancing their monies. This is especially important when one person loses a spouse and is unaware of the estate plan. In this article, we will discuss women and estate planning in 2024 and what you need to know.

What Is An Estate Plan?

In simple terms, an estate plan is a plan to take care of yourself now and in the future and to distribute your assets when you pass away. These legal documents can include:

All of these must work together to give you a strong estate plan. A study by Investment News tells that more than 50% of widowed women in the United States experience significant financial difficulties after their spouse’s death. So, after facing the terrible loss of a loved one, these women are now faced with a huge financial burden. These burdens cause women to withdraw from their retirement accounts or stop saving money to pay current debts.

When both spouses are involved in establishing a strong estate plan, the survivor can understand the financial aspects of the loss and hopefully move forward with the help of the estate plan.

Women And Estate Planning – What You Can Do Now

It’s never too early or too late to start an estate plan. The purpose of an estate plan is to protect yourself now and in the future, plus take care of your loved ones after you are gone. Whether it’s a will or a healthcare directive, it’s important to begin or update your estate plan now. As a woman looking at estate planning, some ideas to consider are:

  • Have a will or trust. If your spouse dies first, all assets not named to other beneficiaries may be transferred to you. However, that means you must have a will or trust to pass along your assets when you pass away.
  • Healthcare directive. If you become incapacitated, this tells your doctors and loved ones your medical wishes. This way, your loved ones are spared from making the hard decisions concerning life-saving measures.
  • Designate a power of attorney. If you become injured or incapacitated, a power of attorney gives someone authority to act on your behalf and keep your finances running.
  • Asset protection. How you structure your estate plan can protect your assets by minimizing taxes and using your finances in the best possible way.
  • Have a digital strategy. Today, much of our lives are saved on digital computers. Ensure someone you trust completely with passwords to all of your digital accounts, including bank accounts, investments, social media, email and more.

Estate planning is vitally important, especially for women. An experienced estate planning attorney understands the difference between having a plan for an entire family and one specifically for you. It’s wise to begin or update your estate plan now. We all think we have enough time to do it later, but then it is sometimes too late.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorneys

Women have unique concerns about estate planning. Due to longer lifespans and lower earning power, women have more to lose if they are financially unprepared. To prepare for the future, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties