Life circumstances, such as the demise of their spouse or a loved one, incapacitation of the breadwinner of the family, divorce, or terminal illness usually forces a woman to look into financial matters. However, managing these affairs promptly safeguards your assets, wishes and choices. Money Control’s recent article entitled “How women can make a solid estate plan” looks at the crucial aspects you should consider when creating your estate plan.
Suppose you choose not to create a will. In that case, intestate succession laws will prevail, whereby your assets may be inherited by individuals and in a manner not necessarily aligned with your wishes. Therefore, getting a will in place should be one of the first steps to protect your wishes and those of your intended beneficiaries.
As a mother with minor children ― married, divorced, or widowed ― there is a greater responsibility to make sure that you appoint a guardian who would manage your children’s financial affairs until they’re 18. As a married woman, it may also be worthwhile to consider coordinating your estate plan with your spouse, so both of you can be on the same page regarding safeguarding each other’s interests and deciding on the subsequent manner of your inheritance. Then, again, by writing your will, you can determine whomsoever you wish to pass on your wealth to, such as confidantes, friends, staff members, or charitable institutions.
A power of attorney is a document that can ensure your financial affairs are taken care of during your lifetime, for instance, in case of incapacitation. If you can’t manage your financial affairs due to medical conditions, you may consider appointing a trustworthy individual to ensure that your finances are safe.
There may need to be more than a will for large families with a complex succession planning mechanism. A trust is a structure that can be created during your lifetime, so beneficiaries are defined, and the trust’s instructions are clearly stated. Men frequently set up the trust to benefit their spouse, children and lineal descendants.
Women shouldn’t overlook this critical aspect of their life and wait for a life-changing event to take charge of their financial affairs in which case it might be too late.
Reference: Money Control (March 28, 2023) “How women can make a solid estate plan”