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“Downton Abbey” Illustrates Estate Planning Issues that Affect Women

Reaching For A HomeMarch is Women’s History Month and while there are many women (well-known and anonymous) who manage money well, when it comes to financial planning and estate planning there is also a sad pattern of women not being able or willing to gain ownership over their finances.

The popular television series “Downton Abbey,” which many American viewers finished watching last month, illustrates how historically women have not been able to inherit family money, property, and titles in England. If you have seen this show, you have experienced the drama that can happen when women are not allowed to inherit family wealth. The conflict makes for good television but as women around the world in different societies can attest, it is much less entertaining to find yourself in a similar situation in real life.

While we may not have the exact same culture or titles or laws about land ownership in America, the idea that women should not have much say in family finances persists here as well. Even when there is no one blocking access to financial documents or information, many women are still hesitant to get overly involved in money matters. And this happens whether a woman is married, single, orphaned, or part of a large family.

Recognize that it is up to you to manage your resources in a way that will benefit you most because not taking action is a form of action. It also helps if women and men would model good financial practices for the children in their family and community so young people can avoid financial pitfalls.

Fee-Only financial planner Claire Emory of Clarity Financial Planning is an advocate for your financial future and takes a holistic approach to your needs and goals. She will work collaboratively with you to define what success and financial independence mean to you and how best to achieve them.