Estate planning is beneficial for everyone. But women in particular should make estate planning a priority, regardless of net worth or marital status. Why? Women have a longer life expectancy than men – outliving them by an average of 4.9 years. Women will not only be required to manage expenses for a longer period of time – they also need their assets to last longer. In addition, many wives outlive their husbands and inherit their husband’s estates. In these situations, it is the woman who then determines how assets will be distributed to heirs.
As we age, there is an increased likelihood that we will begin to decline both physically and mentally. As much as we may want to ignore this reality, it is prudent to prepare for it instead. Setting up a durable power of attorney is an important first step. Designate a trusted individual or, if you have sufficient assets, consider using a professional trust company, to assume responsibility for your financial and health decisions should you become incapacitated. Otherwise, control of your financial assets and your medical care could be assigned to a guardian designated by the court.
Many women have responsibilities for raising children or grandchildren. It is critical to plan ahead and select a guardian to care for these children in the event of your incapacitation or death. If you do not designate a trusted individual to be responsible for their care, the Florida courts will choose a guardian for any minor children.
Because women tend to outlive their husbands, women need to select beneficiaries for assets, as they would no longer be inherited by a spouse. An estate plan allows for designating beneficiaries for your accounts, such as IRA, 401k, or another retirement funds. Doing so will allow for smooth transfer of these funds.
Major life changes warrant a close look at existing estate plans. Birth of a child, divorce, remarriage, or death of a spouse all significantly impact the plan you have in place. By reevaluating your estate plan, you can ensure it reflects your current wishes.
For many individuals, estate planning is one of those items on a long list of tasks to get to “one day”. Unfortunately, waiting until that “one day” may be waiting too long. At Kitroser, Lewis & Mighdoll, our Palm Beach estate planning lawyers understand life is busy and broaching the topic of estate planning can be difficult. We are here to help. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team meet with you to discuss your financial goals and address concerns regarding your estate. Our estate planning professionals have nearly 100 years of combined experience and we personally develop estate plans to meet your objectives. To schedule a consultation with a member of our estate planning team, contact our office today at 561-721-0600 or online.
The North Palm Beach Estate Planning Lawyers of Kitroser, Lewis & Mighdoll, welcome clients from the cities of West Palm Beach, Stuart, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Tequesta, Juno Beach, Singer Island, Lake Park, Hobe Sound, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, as well as all of Palm Beach County, Martin County and South Florida.
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