While both men and women need to do proper estate planning, it is especially important for women because they tend to live longer than men. This means that the odds are higher that the last surviving spouse in an opposite-sex marriage is going to be the woman. Even if she simply gets her husband's assets when he passes away, it is then up to her to pass those on to the rest of the family.
Have you ever wondered why women tend to live longer? Researchers have found numerous potential reasons, which include:
- Women do not smoke as often as men.
- Over the years, advances in medicine may have helped women more than men because women used to be at greater risk of passing away from infectious diseases.
- Men have more visceral fat around their organs, increasing the chances of cardiovascular disease.
- Many animals show the same pattern, with the female animals living longer than the males, suggesting it is something of an inherent trait.
- Women tend to visit the doctor more often than men, suggesting that they are faster to seek professional help when needed.
- Mortality rates for children take a heavier toll on boys than girls in most places, dragging down the average life expectancy of men since more of them pass away at such an early age.
These are just a handful of potential factors that contribute to one degree or another. When it comes to estate planning, the specific reasons why are less important than understanding the risks and taking proper steps to plan for the future.