It is important for both men and women to do their estate planning. However, that does not mean that the process is exactly the same for both genders. Women often face some unique challenges that may not impact men -- or, at least, may not impact them as often.
For instance, take a look at life expectancy. It's nearly five years longer for women than it is for men. This means that:
- Women will usually have the final say in the estate.
- Women have to stretch their assets farther, especially when considering long-term care planning.
- Women have more time for assets like investments to gain value.
- Women often have to take care of their husbands and/or make funeral arrangements.
- Women may have to make end-of-life decisions regarding their assets that men did not have to worry about.
And all of that just comes from this one area: Life expectancy. That assumes all other things between the genders are completely the same.
This does not mean that married women and men shouldn't do their estate planning together. They should, at first. Men need to be aware of their options, as well. However, the reality is simply that women may have to do more estate planning or make final changes after their husbands pass away, so they need to be prepared for this stage in the process that men have to face far less often.
Regardless of your gender, this shows you how complex estate planning can be and how much you have to think about. Make sure you know what legal options you have.