Legacy Planning for Women
What Is Legacy Planning?
Not to be confused with an estate plan, a legacy plan is centered on personal goals, values, and morals that drive your plan. In the event of death or incapacitation, an estate plan and legacy plan will work together to ensure that your final wishes are carried through. This alleviates a great amount of tension and confusion on the part of your surviving loved ones.
What Are Some Special Considerations That Women Must Take Into Account?
Legacy planning is for everyone. However, there are some concerns that largely apply to women. Women who are interested in securing a legacy plan should consider the following:
Life Expectancy and Marriage
On average, the life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 5 years higher than that of men in the U.S. This is important to keep in mind because those with male partners and spouses should acknowledge the possibility of outliving their counterpart. A higher life expectancy makes it all the more important for women to make preparations ahead of their retirement and advanced age, and to plan for any unexpected medical emergencies.
Additionally, marital status has a tremendous impact on the posthumous distribution of your assets. Whether you are single, married, widowed, or divorced, a legacy plan is an essential component when it comes to creating an estate plan that matches your circumstances. Do not assume that you will inherit the assets of your spouse or vice versa. Make sure that you are solid footing well before the unexpected occurs.
Legacy planning involves asking yourself, “What will my household look like if I am no longer around?” This may be a difficult question to confront, but that makes it all the more crucial to plan for the possibility of your absence, particularly if you are the main earner in your home.
For those with children, this question brings about the issue of childcare. Preferences for guardianship can be stated in a will. Ultimately, the final decision is made by a judge, but your decision will be taken into consideration when the outcome is determined. Another estate planning tool that will facilitate your legacy plan is creating a trust (revocable or irrevocable) to make arrangements for childcare expenditures.
Small Business Owners
Women who are business owners can recognize the amount of time, attention, and sacrifice involved in running a company. As such, it is important to consider the future of one’s business when creating a legacy and estate plan. Tools such as a buy-sell agreement and business succession plan will enable you to solidify your decisions regarding the future operation of your business.
Protect Your Legacy
Protect your legacy by recognizing what is guiding you, and in turn, your approach to estate planning. You can avoid common estate planning mistakes, such as creating a DIY estate plan or failing to plan at all. A legacy and estate plan will ensure that your future goals and the needs of your loved ones are well within reach.