Single? Widowed? Divorced? How Important is an Estate Plan?
There are over 110 million singles in the United States and more than 53% of them are women. Women control over one-half of the country’s wealth and studies show that most of the wealth that will change hands in the coming decade will go to women. In fact, it is predicted that women will control two-thirds of the private wealth in the U.S. by 2020. Despite this, most women, (like men) still do not have the proper estate planning documents in place.
While the answer to whether you need an estate plan depends on your circumstances, if you have minor children it is critical that you have a Will as this will determine who will care for them and how they will be provided for financially. Otherwise, this decision will be made by the Courts.
If you are single with no dependents, it is still important to design an estate plan so that you can decide how any assets you own are distributed. If you have pets, a plan can be designed to ensure they are taken care of according to your wishes. Singles who don’t have children can also engage in charitable giving and support causes that are important to them. A caring Estate Planning Attorney can draft a Trust that allows you to leave a legacy that reflects what is most important to you.
Single or married, the odds are that as a woman you will live longer than most men. Proper planning is important to ensure you have the resources necessary as you age. A financial advisor can provide you with a roadmap that leads to a comfortable retirement. An estate planning attorney can help protect those assets.
In addition, having a Financial Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will in place ensures that your wishes will be carried out should you become ill or incapacitated.
It is important to work with an estate planning attorney who understands planning from a women’s perspective: someone who will listen to you, encourage your input and help create a legacy unique to you.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor.