Last posted at estateplanning.com
Despite your age, gender, or wealth, estate planning is vital for everyone. That being said, estate planning may be more important for women than it is for men.
Recent statistics show that, on average, a woman will outlive her husband by seven years. Additionally, the average groom is 2.3 years older than his bride. Therefore, there is a large probability that the wife will one day become individually responsible for managing the assets that the couple has amassed throughout their lives.
Aside from their longer life expectancy, women are also a powerful financial force. The large number of women in the workforce has contributed to women controlling over half of the wealth in the United States. Estate planning is the only way through which a woman can ensure that this wealth is distributed according to her wishes upon her death.
It is therefore important that both spouses have an estate plan.
Although these plans often complement each other – leaving all assets to the surviving spouse – the surviving spouse will bear the responsibility of the final distribution of the couple’s assets. Similarly, where a married couple owns all of their assets jointly, the surviving spouse will be responsible for distributing the assets upon his or her death.
Women should make special considerations when planning their estate. Importantly, due to a woman’s longer life span, she will need to plan for a longer retirement and more prolonged medical needs.