Guarding Your Nest Like A Pro: 4 Legacy Planning Tips for Today’s Moms
Legacy planning is important for everyone. However, there are some special considerations that women must take into account. According to Social Security Administration statistics, the average woman is expected to live until age 86.5, whereas a man can expect to live to age 84. This means that women are expected to outlive their husbands, and have longer retirement periods. Moreover, women are also more likely to be custodial parents and serve as caregivers to senior parents.
A higher life expectancy, as well as the greater likelihood of caring for loved ones now or down the road, makes it all the more important for women to plan ahead and make arrangements that will protect themselves, their families, and their businesses. If you come from a family that never plans, it’s time to change the narrative. Decide what lasting impact you want to make in your world by following these four legacy planning tips:
Assess where you are
Legacy planning involves determining who relies on you (i.e., spouse, minor children, aging parents, etc.) and identifying who you rely on (i.e., housekeeper, babysitter, teachers, doctors, accountants, attorneys, etc.). When creating your legacy plan, you should ask yourself, “What will my household look like if I am no longer around?” While this question is difficult to confront, it is crucial to plan for the possibility of your absence, especially if you are a single mother or the main earner in your home.
Protect yourself: Put your mask on first
When creating a legacy plan, women should start with an Advance Directive. In the event that you lose the ability to make medical decisions or cannot communicate for yourself, an advance directive will protect your right to refuse medical treatment that you do not want and request treatment that you do want. It also allows you to name someone you trust as your health care agent to speak to doctors on your behalf.
Moms need wills
For mothers, wills are essential because they allow one to name guardians for minor children and make beneficiary designations. You want to pre-designate someone that shares your values and is in a position to take care of your children if necessary. Do not assume that your relatives will willingly take on this responsibility without your guidance. It’s not fair to them or your children.
Consider a revocable living trust
A revocable living trust in Maryland is an estate planning tool that holds your assets in a trust, but allows you to complete use of them until they are passed to your beneficiaries. A revocable trust allows you to retain control of the assets during your (the grantor’s) lifetime. It is flexible and can be dissolved at any time should your circumstances or intentions change.