There are some interesting statistics about women in this country. We all know that women live longer than women and many outlive their husbands. But did you know that 75% of women will become widows at some point in their life? Unbelievably, the average age of a woman when she becomes a widow is 55 years of age! Some agencies compiling statistics suggest that the odds of needing long term care at some point is 50%. Can you guess who the caregivers will be? Women. Women are three times more likely than men to be a caretaker for their spouse. In addition women often wind up being the caregiver for one or both parents.
Because women are having to pick up the pieces after a spouse’s death or incapacity and deal with financial issues, women own a majority of the publicly traded stock in this country. Women own 70% of the wealth and inherit 75% of all the estates. What all these statistics show is that it is essential for women to participate in the estate planning process and understand basic estate planning just as it is advisable for women to become educated about financial issues.
Basic estate planning documents that are recommended for a married couple are a revocable living trust, pour over wills, durable powers of attorney for finances, and advance health care directives. Without such documents, what happens when a husband becomes incapacitated and is unable to sign necessary documents to sell a house, obtain a refinance, or create a trust? The wife has to go to court to have her husband declared incompetent and have herself appointed as his conservator, a costly, stressful, and sometimes lengthy process.
At Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation we have been helping couples for years with planning for the future to assure that whichever spouse is the last to pass away, the transition and financial issues which result are planned for. Call us or e mail us for a complimentary appointment.