Most Texans are under the misassumption that estate planning is similar for all people—regardless of socio-economic status, gender, age, and other factors. However, this is not the case. While estate planning is critical for everyone, the type of estate plan and the strategies taken will depend on the person’s unique situation. This is why no two estate plans are the same. For example, there are inherent retirement risks that many women uniquely face that should be factored into their estate plan. Below are questions and tips on how women specifically can plan to avoid potential retirement risks in their estate plans.
What Are Some Potential Retirement Risks for Women?
Statistically, women live longer than men of the same age. While this may not seem critical for estate planning purposes, it does impact the potential resources they will receive as they age, along with the funds they have to pay for services. For example, many seniors will have to balance paying for medications or other healthcare services against their savings—for women who live longer, they may not have the money for these expenses.
Similarly, women who outlive their spouses are then relying on fewer funds in their final years. While they may receive their spouse’s Social Security funds, this may not be what they were used to prior. Additionally, if a woman was not married previously, then she does not have any survivor benefits—instead, she solely has whatever benefits she is entitled to.
How Can Estate Planning Help Avoid These Risks?
Working with an estate planning attorney can help solo-agers overcome these potential risks. One option in creating an estate plan is to start placing additional funds into accounts or a trust now—so if the woman does live longer and her benefits start to decrease, she has the money necessary to pay for care and other expenses. Trusts that preplan for Medicaid benefits will be more than likely the most important factor when deciding which estate planning vehicle to create.
Additionally, women may want to consider adding particular directives or descriptions of the type of care they would want—if they are not able to make the decision for themselves—in their Healthcare Directive. While some people use standard forms, there are certain illnesses and diseases that disproportionately impact women. By making a person’s intentions clear in the directive, it can help loved ones to make decisions in the future on their behalf knowing they are acting as the person would have wanted.
Estate planning can seem complicated and stressful. Because of this, women thinking about the future should contact an estate planning attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will assist an individual and go through the estate planning process by thinking about potential risks that may specifically impact them.
Do You Need to Speak with a Houston Estate Planning Attorney?
Creating an estate plan to fit your unique needs—and knowing what estate planning strategies will best resolve any potential future risks—can be difficult. That is why the Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC are here to help. We have decades of experience working with a diverse set of clients to meet their estate planning and elder law needs. We are here to answer any questions you may have and work with you to develop the right estate plan. To schedule a free, initial consultation, call us today at 713-333-8900.