A new article in Forbes points out that while everyone can benefit from proper estate planning, women often have more pressing concerns than men. There are several reasons why women should take the time to carefully consider what estate planning steps they need to take. Though the list is not comprehensive, here are three reasons women should consider starting their estate planning efforts immediately.
Reason 1: Your spouse is older than you are. While this can apply to anyone, women are more likely to marry a man who is older than they are. Because men also have a lower expected life-span, women are more likely to survive their spouses and have a larger estate to distribute.
Reason 2: Women face specific health issues. Part of your estate plan should spell out what you want to happen to you if you become sick or injured. You’ll probably need to create a Living Will, a document that states what kind of healthcare you want, and a Healthcare Power-of-Attorney that gives someone the ability to make healthcare decisions if you’re unconscious or unable to communicate.
Reason 3: You may not have access to your husband’s bank account. If you and your husband have a separate bank accounts, as many couples do, you may not be able to access the funds in your husband’s account after he dies. If your husband dies, all the property he owned individually, including an individual bank account, has to go through probate before you can access it.