Women and Estate Planning Basics

When it comes to estate planning, women have unique concerns. The fact is that women live an average of 5.0 years longer than men.* That's important because it means that there's a greater chance that you'll need your assets to last for a longer period of time and a greater need to plan for incapacity. It also means that you'll need to take responsibility for your own estate plan.

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan is a map that reflects the way you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled in case of your incapacity or death. It allows you to control what happens to your property if you die or become incapacitated.

If you're married, the odds are that you're going to outlive your husband. That's significant for a couple of reasons. First, it means that if your husband dies before you, you'll likely inherit his estate. More importantly, though, it means that to a large extent, you'll probably have the last word about the final disposition of all of the assets you've accumulated during your marriage.

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