Galloway and Collens, PLLC
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Unique challenges for women and their estate plan

Not all estate plans are alike, just as no two women are alike. The process of creating an estate plan is highly personal for anyone, and women may have unique challenges as they move forward with that process. Michigan women who have not created an estate plan or who have not recently updated that plan may want to explore their options, as the process of estate planning can be different for women than it is for men.

One noted statistic can play a significant role in any plan that is created: Women typically live longer. This means they may be left to distribute shared assets among children as opposed to the male partner who may have already passed. When it comes to personal items such as jewellery, leaving jewellery to beneficiaries may get complicated unless each piece is inventoried and specifically left to a certain beneficiary in order to have what is considered a fair distribution.

Women may also want to carefully consider whom they choose as a power of attorney. If one beneficiary has access to bank accounts to help out if incapacitation occurs, that particular beneficiary may have access to more assets in the event of death. This can lead to infighting among children, and that may be the last thing a woman wants for those she leaves behind.

Any estate plan can be extremely complex for both men and women as both may have struggled to amass wealth and assets. A well-thought-out plan can help minimize conflict and ease the transition of assets. In Michigan, families may want to share the plan, and women can openly discuss the ideas and plan they wish to see implemented after their passing or in the event of their incapacitation.

Source: bizjournals.com, "10 key strategies for women doing estate planning", Lisa Schneider, June 12, 2015

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