Top 5 Estate Planning Questions – For Women!
Question 1: Do I Need An Estate Plan?
The simplest answer to the estate planning question of do I really need one, is yes, you do. Questioning the relevance of estate plans is a common roadblock. People tend to have all of the following excuses for not addressing their estate plans:
- I do not want to think about dying.
- I am too young for an estate plan.
- I am not rich.
- My kids can take care of it when the time comes.
Each and every one of these excuses is flawed. Consider the following:
- The fact is that your estate can help protect your finances in the present and help plan for your retirement. In other words, your estate plan is far more than a blueprint to be followed upon your death.
- If you are an adult, you are not too young to implement an estate plan, which can help guide your finances into the future (in fact, the sooner you start, the better). Further, your estate plan can address the important matter of your children’s guardianship in the unlikely event they are left without parents. Finally, your estate plan can protect your loved ones from the intrusion of probate (regarding those employment-based financial tools and your own financial accounts) in the event of your untimely death.
- You do not have to be wealthy to care about your legacy. And once you begin moving forward with your career, your assets can accrue more quickly than you likely realize. Addressing financial planning early on helps set the stage for continued financial growth and increased financial control.
- Leaving your estate planning for your children to sort out is – quite frankly –a terrible idea. Not only do you burden them with unnecessary hardship when they are grieving your loss but you also increase their exposure to inheritance taxes and the frustration and expense of probate. Further, you abdicate your right to be the master of your own financial destiny.
Each of these is especially relevant for women and the many hats we wear.
Question 2: Why Do Women Need Estate Plans?
As women, we have to work harder to advance our careers; we routinely earn less than men in the same fields; we tend to play an outsized role in our homes and to have more responsibility for our children; we are more likely to take on the responsibility of caring for our aging loved ones, and we live longer than men. Each of these truths contributes to the fact that effective estate planning is critically important to women. The myth that financial planning is for men is so yesterday, and the sooner we, as women, find our financial voices, the better off us, our families, and our communities at large will be.
Question 3: What is an Estate?
Estate is a very grand term that has connotations most of us do not equate with ourselves. In reality, however, your estate refers to your assets – as offset by your debts –and because our assets tend to be fluid, an estate plan is an excellent tool for addressing the ongoing management of said assets, which can include all of the following:
- Your bank accounts (and any other cash)
- Investment accounts and other financial tools (including life insurance policies)
- Employment-related accounts, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies
- Property, including your home and vehicle
- Personal property, including jewelry and other valuables
- Business ownership (including any shares you own in a business)
As your career begins heating up, your estate can grow quickly, and without a thoughtful estate plan in place, you are unlikely to maximize your financial potential or further your financial impact.
Question 4: What is a Well-Crafted Estate Plan?
The right estate plan for you will not look exactly like anyone else’s. After all, your goals, your priorities, and your life are unique to you. Your estate plan affords you the ability to address these matters in a way that is meaningful to you. All told, a well-crafted estate plan can help you achieve all of the following:
- Preserving the value of your total assets
- Reducing the tax burden on your loved ones (after your passing)
- Ensuring that your loved ones receive what you intend them to
- Managing your assets and enforcing your preferences in the event that you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated
- Protecting you and your family’s ongoing privacy
Working closely with one of the knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC is the best way to address your estate planning questions and begin your financial planning journey.
Question 5: Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney?
You are not required to work with an estate planning attorney in your ongoing efforts to secure your legacy – in the same way you are not required to hire a plumber or electrician for critical home repairs. Like these instances, however, when you receive expert assistance and advice, you are better equipped to handle the problem at hand. Estate planning laws are complicated and nuanced, and hammering out an estate plan that inadvertently fails to accurately address your goals can do more harm than good.
Turn to the Dedicated Legal Guidance of an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney
If you have estate planning questions, the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help answer your questions. We are committed to providing you with the tools you need on your financial journey, so please do not hesitate to reach out by calling us at 512-505-2753 or visiting willsintexas.com/contact today.