When you think about estate planning, who do you think it should focus on the most? Do you think it’s for couples? Is it primarily for men? Is it a women’s issue?
While all people, of all genders, do need to do their estate planning, some experts do refer to it as a serious women’s issue. Their reasoning is simple: Women tend to live longer than men. Many wives are going to outlive their husbands.
What this means is that much of an estate may pass simply from a husband to a wife. She will then need to figure out how to pass it on to the rest of her family when she passes away. If her husband did all of the estate planning, does it really reflect what she needs or wants? She is the last one to make many of these decisions.
A related issue here is that husbands may have more control over the family’s finances to begin with. One financial planner said that she often saw women allow their husbands to do most of the financial work for the couple. This could mean that the person who has to make the final financial decisions is also the one who knows far less about those finances. That can be a problem.
There are outliers, of course. You have women who are more in control of their finances. You have same-sex couples. You have couples who split things up evenly. But it is very important for women to understand what they may need to do and what steps they can take to put their families in the best possible position.