The life expectancy for women in California and around the country is roughly five years more than for men. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention n thaotet 38 percent of marriages in the nation end in divorce. Couple the divorce rate with the longer life expectancy for women, and it results in many women having the responsibility for managing their finances well into their future. Given this potential, it would be advantageous for women to give serious consideration to estate planning.

One key component of an effective estate plan is a revocable living trust. The trust would give a woman control of her assets while she is living and after she is deceased. A trust of this type also helps heirs avoid probate and the costs associated with it. Following a divorce, it is necessary to update any documentation that names beneficiaries to ensure that assets are not distributed to an ex-spouse.

It is also helpful for someone to have a durable power of attorney. A woman selects a trusted person to act on her behalf should she become incapacitated. A financial plan is also a beneficial after someone goes through a divorce. Since a woman’s income and net worth likely changed significantly following her divorce, it would be wise to have a plan to get where someone wants to be financially.

While some women may also include a charitable giving as part of their plan, everyone needs to address the issue of health care decisions. A health care proxy specifically designates someone to make medical decisions should a woman become incapacitated. Finally, written instructions regarding any other personal or financial matters should be included in a comprehensive estate plan.

Estate planning is an important process for everyone, not just women going through a divorce. Anyone needing to develop an estate plan should consult a California estate attorney. An experienced lawyer will help a client develop an estate plan that specifically meets his or her needs.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, “Advising Divorcing Women“, Laurie E. Ingwersen, July 31, 2017