Times are changing, and workforce demographics are changing as well. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials make up 35% of the current US labor force and Gen Z (post-millennials) accounts for 5%. As time goes on, baby boomers and Gen Xers will continue to retire while millennials and post-millennials will make up larger portions of the workforce. The transition of leadership from one generation to the next has given rise to different social trends, including the increase of female professionals and working mothers the workplace. More women taking on employment benefits society in a variety of ways; however, equal job opportunities do not mean that differences between men and women should be completely disregarded.

Women and Estate Planning

One area where it is vital to acknowledge differences between men and women is in estate planning. If fact, estate planning issues usually have a larger impact on women than men because wives tend to outlive their husbands. Women are often younger than their husbands and have a longer life expectancy. As a result, the burden of estate administration usually falls on women. Moving forward, wives will most likely be equal contributors to household income; therefore, it is clear to see that women should play an important role in estate planning. Despite these truths, many men and women have not seen the importance of having women involved in estate planning. Why? Several reasons.

Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

First, some think their estate is not valuable enough to require an estate plan. This misunderstanding might have been exacerbated by the estate tax alterations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Even though the need for estate planning increases as an estate grows, an abundance of wealth is not a requirement for the formation of an estate plan.  Proper estate planning should be done as early as possible, so your assets can be protected as you accumulate more property and resources.

Estate Plan vs. Right of Survivorship

Second, married couples typically hold property jointly with rights of survivorship. Most think this will suffice, so they don’t worry about estate planning. While holding real property jointly can be an estate planning tool, it does not adequately address potential issues like an all-inclusive estate plan does. Not every asset can be held jointly with rights of survivorship, so additional estate planning tools and approaches will need to be taken to sidestep probate. Furthermore, measures need to be taken in case you or your spouse become incapacitated. These measures and supplementary factors can only be addressed in a comprehensive plan.

Estate Planning for Young Professionals

Finally, some women, especially millennials and post-millennials, think themselves too young to start thinking about estate planning. For those who think this, it is imperative to understand that estate plans are more than just a list of instructions regarding the distribution of assets. An estate plan, when written correctly, accounts for the possible incapacitation of you or your spouse. It can provide a way of growing and protecting your wealth, and ensure you are taken care of during retirement. Estate plans enable you to plan for the care of your children and nominate a guardian whom you trust if something happens to you. Estate plans are an irreplaceable tool when protecting your loved ones. Attend one of our estate planning seminars to learn more about drafting one.