On average, women tend to live longer than men, and the gender pay gap continues to place women at a financial disadvantage. These two facts alone are reason enough for women to prioritize estate planning regardless of their age and economic circumstances. But, the reality is that there are several other unique estate planning considerations for women as well, and having a plan is essential to providing certainty and mitigating unnecessary costs and challenges for you and your family.
While there are innumerable different circumstances that all require their own unique approach to estate planning, for purposes of this article we will focus on three common scenarios:
Women who are professionals or business owners and who are self-supporting;
Women who rely on their spouse’s income and who will need to rely on it in the future; and Women who have remarried (regardless of income status)
Estate Planning Considerations for Female Professionals and Business Owners
If you are a professional or you own a business (either alone or jointly with your spouse), there are several important considerations you will need to address in your life plan. From providing for your children (both temporarily and long-term) to determining who will run your business if you become unable to do so due to an illness or injury, you will want to ensure that your plan is as comprehensive as possible.
While planning for the distribution of your assets after death is one important component of the planning process, there are several other important components as well. To the extent that you are financially self-reliant, you will want to make provisions for what will happen if you are no longer able to earn a living. To the extent that your children rely on your income and care, you will need to make provisions for their protection in your absence as well.
Estate Planning Considerations for Women Who Rely on Their Spouse’s Income
If you are reliant on your spouse’s income, it will be important for you to play an active role in the life planning process. In addition to participating in important decisions, this also means having a clear understanding of what your spouse’s estate plan says and what you will need to do in the event of your spouse’s incapacity or death. Additionally, whether you also work or you are a stay-at-home spouse or parent, there are various issues that you will need to address in your own life plan as well.
Estate Planning Considerations for Women Who Have Remarried
Finally, if you have remarried, this too presents unique estate planning considerations. This is particularly true if you have children from your prior relationship. Using a prenup or postnup can be a good option in this scenario, as Florida has some unique laws that impact spouses’ ability to distribute their assets to other family members.
Schedule an Initial Estate Planning Consultation to Learn More
Mark F. Moss is a Jacksonville, Florida, estate planning lawyer who has experience advising clients in a broad range of scenarios. If you have questions and would like to speak with Mr. Moss in confidence, please call 904-329-7242 or request an appointment online today.