Women wear many important hats. They are daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, wives, partners, caregivers, business owners, community leaders and volunteers.
In addition to wearing multiple hats, women also have a variety of responsibilities that affect their financial planning needs. This can include juggling a career and family responsibilities or finding extra ways to save if they have left the workforce to become a full-time caregiver. Women should financially prepare for an average longer life expectancy than men.
One of the financial planning areas that women often leave out, but need to particularly pay attention to, is estate planning. Estate planning is the legal planning that helps you control who will inherit your money and property, and who can make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself.
For women, estate planning is vital, especially if there are considerable assets involved such as real estate, insurance policies or retirement accounts.
Below are four reasons for women to consider including estate planning as a part of their holistic financial plan.
Women are Natural Caregivers
Women often become the primary caretakers for children and family members. Having an estate plan in place will relieve loved ones of financial burdens when you pass and ensure that your loved ones are protected.
Women Fund and Support Charities
Charity and giving are core pieces of many women’s lives. By integrating charitable giving in your estate plan, you can help charities and causes that align with your values and interests for years or decades to come.
The Effect of the Pandemic on Women
Unfortunately, many women have faced economic challenges caused by the pandemic. From job layoffs and furloughs to the loss of spouses and other family members, the pandemic has proven the importance of having an emergency savings plan to ensure your loved ones are prepared to pay the bills if you pass.
Women are Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
American Express estimates that there are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ 9.4 million workers. It is vital that all women entrepreneurs and business owners integrate succession planning as a part of their estate plan. Women should collaborate with their CFP® professionals on all areas affected by succession — including business transition, tax planning, investment strategies and estate planning.
Women looking to better plan their estate should find a CFP® professional to help develop a financial plan tailored to their unique situation. A CFP® professional is a highly trained and trusted advisor who can help guide your financial life journey and help you provide for others after you pass. They will take a holistic, personalized approach to bring all the pieces of your financial life together and address your estate planning needs.
Once you start working with a CFP® professional, you will conduct an estate planning initial needs evaluation. Two key components of your evaluation should be:
- An estate analysis, including an in-depth review of your present arrangements
- A settlement cost analysis, summarizing the costs of various distribution and arrangements after your death.
Estate planning is complex. While a simple will may adequately serve the needs of some people, you should also meet with a qualified legal advisor to ensure your plan fulfills your desires. By thoroughly developing an estate plan, you can ensure that your loved ones benefit both economically and psychologically when you pass.
Learn more about estate planning as a part of the financial planning process at LetsMakeAPlan.org.
Laura LaTourette offers Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through WCG Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisor. WCG Wealth Advisors and Family Wealth Management Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.