Everyone who will eventually be leaving this world needs an estate plan, but women, in particular, should pay attention to the process. Regardless of marital status or financial status, women should make arrangements today to protect themselves and their families against unexpected incapacity or death.
Why Is It So Important for Women to Make Estate Planning a Priority?
- Statistically, women live longer than men.
- Generally speaking, women earn less money during their lifetime than men.
- The majority of custodial parents are women.
- Many women are business owners.
- Many women are professionals.
- Many women are wealthy.
On average, women tend to live 4.9 years longer than men. This means that women need to have assets last longer than men. It also means that wives often outlive husbands, inherit their husband’s estate, and have the final word regarding the distribution of assets to the couple’s heirs.
According to recent statistics, full-time working women earned 81.2 cents for each dollar earned by a man in a similar position. Women also work for fewer years than men because many spend at least a portion of their time taking care of home and family, which reduces their opportunities to save money for the future. The combined result of these factors is that women earn less money than men over the course of a lifetime. We already discussed that women live longer than men. Their decreased opportunity to earn/save mean women must make fewer dollars last longer. This makes it vital for women to get good retirement planning advice.
Another statistic that makes it even more important for women to have an estate plan in place is that approximately 84% of custodial parents are women. These women need to proactively plan for the continued care of their children if something unexpected should leave them unable. This also leaves them in the situation of designating a responsible individual to handle the minor children’s property until they are older.
Over 8.6 million businesses in the US are owned by women. These businesses generate about $1.3 trillion per year. Women who own their own business need to take action to protect their business assets and plan for the succession of their business with an estate plan. Additionally, women make up close to 58% of professionals in the workplace. Many of these are in professions that come with high litigation risks (i.e. medicine, real estate, law, etc.) and could benefit greatly from asset protection planning.
Women are also in control of a large portion of the world’s wealth. Women control $14 trillion in assets – ¾ of the financial wealth in the United States. This wealth needs to be protected in an estate plan created by an experienced attorney.
If you need to learn more about estate planning or consult an experienced estate planning attorney about planning for a secure future, please get in touch with one of the experienced California estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Janet L. Brewer.