In fact, it’s arguably more important for women than men. Though a 2011 survey shows that women are more concerned with maintaining their weight than protecting their financial assets, there are several reasons why it would be wise to reconsider and rearrange those two priorities. For example:
- Women live longer on average
- By age 65, women are nearly 3 times as likely as men to be widowed, and as the surviving spouse, they will decide where the couple’s wealth goes after her death.
- Women tend to survive their spouses
- Retirement planning is a major issue – to ensure that their standard of living during later years does not decline, women need to make informed decisions about where to allocate their assets in order to protect their future.
- Women often have custody of their children
- In 2009, approximately 82% of custodial parents were women, making estate planning crucial to ensure that their children are cared for if unexpected circumstances arise.
- Women are often the caregivers
- Advanced estate planning will protect dependent grandchildren and aging parents – and even beloved pets – in the event of incapacity.
- Women are often professionals
- Although prior to 1975, men had the sole legal authority to control and manage community property*, that simply is not the case anymore – today, women are often professionals with significant businesses, careers, and assets to protect.
- Women today often choose to remain unmarried
- Without a proper estate plan in place, the state will determine who receives an unmarried woman’s assets and property – rather than her particularly close friend or a long-time partner.
At the very least, women should be as equally active in seeking estate planning tools as men – if not more. Whether you are single, married, divorced, or widowed, you will benefit from seeking out the various options you have to protect yourself. Estate planning can be overwhelming, but being educated and prepared will allow you to provide the best possible future for yourself, your family, and your loved ones.
If you have any questions regarding your estate or are interested in creating a new estate plan, please contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri for further information. The attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex estate planning matters, including wills and living trusts, and we are happy to offer you a free consultation.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*Married Woman’s Special Presumption, Cal. Fam. Code Section 803.