To start with, estate planning is beneficial for anyone. Both men and women can use estate plans, both married couples and single individuals can use them, and there are always ways that you can set up your plan to accomplish your goals – even when they’re much different than someone else’s goals.
That being said, there is an argument to be made that estate planning is more important for women. Why is this?
Women tend to live longer
The big reason is simply that women tend to live longer and therefore, in opposite-sex marriages, it is most likely that a woman will outlive her spouse. This may only be by a few weeks or a few years, but it could also be by decades.
As such, she needs to make sure that she knows how to adjust the estate plan for her heirs and beneficiaries. It’s not wise for one spouse to work on the estate planning all on their own, even if that person tends to handle the family finances. Both people should be involved.
What changes need to be made?
The changes that will need to be made depend on the specifics of the situation. For instance, perhaps a person’s spouse had a life insurance policy that paid out to them. This money has now entered their estate, but there may not be any notes in the estate plan about what should happen to it as it gets passed down to the next generation.
Depending on age, a spouse may also consider things like getting remarried. This can create a blended family. This is great in many ways, but it does complicate the situation. There are now more heirs and beneficiaries involved, assets owned by two families are being mixed together, and the estate plan needs to sort out how the family is going to address all of these changes.
Getting it set up
Once again, though, the big takeaway here is that everyone should know as much as they can about estate planning. No matter where you are in this process, it’s always beneficial to think about your goals in advance and to determine how you can accomplish them. Be sure you know what steps to take.