Men and women approach estate planning in different ways. Women are believed to live longer and have custody of their children. Approximately 36 percent of women who are over the age of 65 are widowed. However, there are ways Texas women can have an easier time with estate planning.
Many times, women tend to disregard what may happen should one of their family members or their husband pass on. In one situation, a woman's husband decided to receive the maximum benefit in his lifetime for his pension payments. This choice means that his benefits will end as soon as he dies. For someone who is living off her husband's income, if he should pass before she does, her income becomes zero. It's important for women to initiate conversations with their spouses and family members about estate plans.
Each estate plan is different, and it's dependent upon the person's individual situation. If a woman has no children, then she will need to decide who will take care of her, especially if she becomes incapacitated. If a woman is married with children, then one of the primary concerns will be to name a guardian over the children along with having a life insurance policy in place. A woman who is divorced may want to update her beneficiary designations on her financial accounts.
Without some form of estate planning, including wills and trusts, the state may take over the estate and distribute assets how it sees fit instead of how a person desires. In addition, beneficiaries stand to gain even more by possibly avoiding the probate process. Texas residents may wish to fully research all of their options to ensure that their estate plans are prepared in an accurate and legally binding manner.
Source: marketwatch.com, "How women can make estate planning easier", Andrea Coombes, May 8, 2014