Estate Planning Is A Women’s Issue
We understand the unique considerations women have when it comes to estate planning. For many of us, our personal and professional lives are not on a linear track. We start a career, get married, have kids, take time off, get divorced, or start something new at different times in our lives, often stopping and starting to juggle competing priorities.
Women often inherit twice in their lifetimes – once from their parents and then from their spouse. Often, we deal with not only being a caretaker for older relatives but also for spouses and even adult children. Our nests are never truly empty.
With these challenges, inheritances, and opportunities comes complexity. We help you sort through the competing priorities, financial assets, and unresolved issues and focus on your goals and values.
Do I Need An Estate Plan If I Am Single And Have No Children?
Yes! Every adult should have an estate plan, including single people without dependents. Why? Because if you die intestate (without a will), the state will decide how to distribute your assets and they may go to people you would not have chosen to receive them.
For example, if you have family heirlooms, you may want them to pass to specific people such as your relatives or friends. Unless you specify this in your will, however, you have no control over who will receive them. Additionally, you may want to leave some or all of your assets to charity. Depending on the size of your estate and when you want to start giving, this may be handled in the will or through a trust. When we review your assets and goals, we will determine which option is right for you.
How Can I Protect My Children After I Am Gone?
Your primary concern is undoubtedly who will raise your minor children if you die while they are young. You can name guardians for minor children in your will. Your children’s guardians can be relatives or friends. This is a critical issue because if you do not specify guardians for your children, the state will decide who takes care of them, and it may not be the people you think are best suited to do so.
Another way to protect your children after you are gone is to establish a trust that will provide for them financially. You can choose who will be the trustee: a family member, a friend, a lawyer, etc. You will also specify when the children begin to have access to the funds. This is a crucial decision because you want them to be taken care of financially, but you do not want to hand over significant amounts of money to children who are not mature enough to handle it yet. We will discuss all of these issues with you so you can make the right decisions.
We can also help you protect children in blended families by specifying which assets they should receive after your death. If you do not include this in your estate plan, the state will decide how to split the assets among all of the children, which may conflict with your wishes.