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How is estate planning different for a woman?

Men and women have a lot of differences. The answer to the question of what those differences are will be different depending on who you ask. When it comes to estate planning, however, there are some clear differences that most estate planning lawyer can point to.

First of all, women live longer than men -- an average of 4.9 years. This means that women should prepare for their death later, and they need to make sure that their money will last them. Their husbands may need to plan their estates in anticipation of their wives outliving them, too.

Other financial challenges may come into play for women, who often worked less than their male counterparts so that they could help raise their families and potentially earned less than their male counterparts during their working years. As such, women may not have as much money to work with when planning their estates and their retirements.

According to one trust and estates attorney, most of the surviving spouses they work with are female due to the fact that women often outlive their male spouses to become widows. This fact alone should be enough to encourage women to play more of an active role in the estate planning for themselves and their male spouses. Nevertheless, it's not uncommon for women to let their husbands handle these matters.

No matter who you are -- man or woman -- a California estate planning lawyer can help you understand your current estate plan and whether it could benefit from an update. Either way, knowing what to expect in the event that your spouse dies before you can be enormously helpful if such an outcome eventually comes to pass.

Source: Forbes, "It's Different For Women In Estate Planning," Larry Light, Aug. 25, 2017

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