In “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men Who Love Them) on Forbes.com, Deborah L. Jacobs urges women to get educated about estate planning and seek help from trustworthy individuals. She notes that because women are more often widowed, more likely to marry older spouses, and tend to earn less, “Estate planning affects women more profoundly, so they should take charge of this process, or at least be equal participants.”
While estate planning can be as simple as leaving a legally viable will, you may need to delve deeper, depending on your financial goals and your desire to ensure that certain beneficiaries receive the resources you intend them to have. Money and inheritance issues are becoming increasingly complex—even if you don’t have millions in the bank, it is best to work with a trusted financial advisor. And estate planning is not something that you do once you reach retirement age; you need to make these plans to fit your current situation and adjust them with time. Forbes.com examined of the questions that may arise in relation to estate planning:
- Who will care for your children in the event of your death? Should the person you designate as a legal guardian for your children also be in charge of money you leave for them?
- Will you save on estate taxes if you give away assets now?
- Will you be able to make use of a “tax dowry?” (“Starting in 2011, the tax-free amounts you can give to no-spousal heirs during life and at death are combined into a single $5 million exclusion.”)
- What paperwork do you need to file if your spouse dies? It is important to be aware of this information ahead of time because grief can cloud one’s judgment and delay action.
If you work with a Fee-Only financial planner, you can rely on a professional to help you meet important financial deadlines.