67% of women between the ages of 45 and 54 don’t have wills, according to a Rocket Lawyer survey. The overall percentage for that age group is around 62%. In short, women are less likely to have a will than the general population. Why does this matter?
While it may be true that in previous generations, women worked in the home had fewer personal assets than their husbands, it is less likely to be the case today. Not only that, but women tend to outlive their spouses. This means that widows are increasingly likely to have to manage not only their own assets, but their husbands’s as well. Let’s break it down.
Women Have Wealth
Whether you’re in a marriage or other long-term relationship, or you’re on your own, it is likely you have assets you want to leave to people or organizations you care for. Having a will is a great way to ensure that those assets go where you would like them to, and not to where the government has decided. Since every woman’s case is different, there’s not much more woman-specific advice we can give, but you may find it helpful to browse our blog with advice on estate planning, wills, trusts, and more!
Women Live Longer
In the U.S., life expectancy for women is about 7 years longer than for men. This means that estate plans that focus on the husbands’ wealth and assets may eventually leave a widow with a great deal of assets to pass away intestate, or, without a will. If you and your partner are thinking about estate planning, you should consider a plan that takes into account one of you passing away before the other, and how assets will be managed in that case. Working with a lawyer to ensure your wills are flexible is a great way to do this.
The process of writing a will can be a difficult one, not least because it often comes along with a great deal of other decisions. Thinking about your living will and power of attorney in case of hospitalization, for example. However, these documents are critical in order to ensure that your wishes and needs are met at a stressful time. If you don’t have a will, it may be likely that you have not considered these other factors as well. Sitting down to write a will is a good time to think about all these other things too!
It is just as important for women to have wills as men! Regardless of your age, you should begin thinking about how to distribute your assets, or how you want your end-of-life plans handled.