Women have some special needs when it comes to estate planning. It is common for women to live longer and therefore outlive a spouse. Because of this, the bulk of the marital estate is usually left in her hands. This means that what she does with her estate plan carries a lot of weight with the rest of the family.
Children who may not have had any interest before in the estate plan may suddenly become more interested when their father dies and leaves everything in the mother’s hands. This can complicate things for a woman and leave her with some unique concerns.
Once a husband dies, Forbes suggests that widows review their assets and make updates as needed. This includes ensuring that titles are in the right name and beneficiaries are correct on accounts. It may also mean adding more information to the estate due to an addition of assets or making adjustments to decisions to more fairly distribute assets.
Itemizing personal items
When a woman dies and becomes a widow, she will leave behind much more than her husband did with no one to immediately handle things. Women should take the time to itemize personal items, especially those of considerable value. However, even everyday household items should go on the list. This can help minimize fighting or issues after her death.
Leaving finances for the future
Because women tend to live longer, they also need funds for their golden years. A widow’s estate plan should allow room for her to access funds as needed for daily expenses and other financial needs that may occur in the future.
While many women have a solid estate plan in place, the loss of a spouse can often shift the needs of the plan. It is always wise for a woman to understand the unique needs that she may have when it comes to estate planning as a widow.