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Estate Planning Concerns for Women

May 1, 2011

In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day, honoring mothers and showering them with love and attention. Most could not bear to think of their mother facing any adversity, and when it comes to estate planning, women face a unique set of challenges. Statistically, a married woman is most likely going to outlive her husband. The average age of a widow is 56 years old. Other women never married, or divorced, and are facing retirement as a single individual. In fact, if you are a woman age 65 or older, you are more than twice as likely as a man of the same age to be unmarried.

Whether widowed, divorced or single, these women have something in common – the need to develop their own financial savvy in order to maintain their independence as they age. Imagine the overwhelming anxiety that would accompany managing household finances for the first time after a spouse has passed away or after a divorce. A woman who is familiar with her finances will find it much easier to assume additional financial responsibilities should the need arise. Women should know the location of pertinent financial paperwork, including insurance policies, real estate deeds, mortgages, stock certificates, bonds, and brokerage account and annuity statements. Women should also take the steps necessary to understand the documents.

Another difficulty that is unique to women…

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by: Gina M. Barry

May 2011

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