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Women Have Unique Estate Planning Needs

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Most estate planning advice applies equally to women and men. But it is also true that women tend to have some unique needs that they must consider when they create their estate plans. At Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group, we are happy to discuss your estate plan and create the documents that turn that your goals into reality.

Women Need More Wealth in Retirement

On average, women live five years longer than men. This means that a woman must engage in financial planning that potentially differs from that of a man, even her husband. When looking at retirement income, make sure that you have the proper timeline in mind. You should not plan on disbursing retirement income based solely on your husband’s expected life span, since that could leave you without income for half a decade.

Many women stay home to raise a family, which means they have paid less into Social Security and retirement plans or pensions. As a result, many women do not earn the retirement income that the average man would. Women should keep this in mind when calculating the amount of assets they need.

Women Might Need Nursing Home Care

Because many women outlive their husbands, they likely will need to go to a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Although many people expect their children to take care of them, that simply is not in the cards for many people. You might not have children, or your children are too busy to take care of you. Without a spouse, many elderly women will need professional care toward the end of their lives when they can no longer handle day-to-day activities.

For this reason, women should consider purchasing long-term care insurance. This policy will step in to pay the incredible costs of nursing home care.

Women Should Appoint Alternate Agents or Surrogates

Two important estate planning documents to have are the Durable Power of Attorney to handle finances and the Designation of Health Care Surrogate. In each document, you appoint someone to make decisions for you when you are incapacitated and can no longer make them yourself.

Many people naturally designate their spouse as their agent/surrogate, and you can, too. However, it is especially important for women to name alternates in case their husband dies before them.

You Might Need to Redraft a Will or Trust

If you are like many married couples, you probably wrote a will that left everything to your spouse in death. When a woman’s husband dies, she now will need to leave everything to someone else. A properly drafted will can account for this, but some women might need to reassess their wills or trusts after their husbands have died. For example, different tax concerns could arise, or you might want to change the beneficiaries of the estate.

Speak to Us Today

At Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group, we help residents of The Villages with their estate planning needs. If you have a question, please contact us today. We offer free initial consultations for potential clients to meet with one of our attorneys.

Please call 800-743-9732 or submit an online contact sheet.

Resource:

forbes.com/sites/lawrencelight/2017/08/25/its-different-for-women-in-estate-planning/#648158be6f39

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