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Happy Women’s History Month! Each March serves as a reminder and an opportunity to honor and underscore the tenacious and powerful legacy of women. As women, we are all too often called upon to be the ones to plan ahead. Putting together an estate plan can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re caring for your loved ones even when you are no longer with them. During Women’s History Month, we are reminded of several reasons women should be sure they are focusing on planning for their family’s future.

Reason #1: Women Live Longer. Estate planning is critical for women because they tend to live longer than men. According to the Social Security Administration, the life expectancy for a woman is approximately five years longer than for a man. This means that women need to ensure their assets will cover all the possible long-term care or health needs they may encounter in the future. There is also a good chance that a woman will outlive her spouse and be tasked with administering the joint wealth and estate to their heirs. So, it’s essential that if a woman is married, she becomes involved in the decision-making and estate planning before the death of her spouse or partner.

Reason #2: Women Earn Less. Did you know women tend to earn less during their lives than men? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on average, women make 83 cents for every dollar earned by men. This means that women likely need to plan to make fewer dollars last for a longer lifetime. Despite the income gap, women professionals are increasingly taking on the breadwinner role in families across the country. Women now make up more than 50% of realtors, lawyers, psychologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, authors, and opticians. Today, women are more likely to obtain a four-year degree, and they have recently surpassed men in medical school enrollment. Women in high-risk professions, including medicine, law, and real estate, need to think about asset protection strategies in case of a malpractice suit. In addition, business owners need to consider liability protection and succession plans.

Reason #3: Women Are Caregivers. Women often fulfill the role of caretaker in their families. In fact, most custodial parents are women, which means that mothers of young children need to plan for the care and needs of their children in case they are incapacitated or pass away. An effective estate plan will identify guardians, provide for minor children, and instill values, even if mom is no longer around. Women are also usually the caretakers of their elderly parents or disabled relatives, which requires careful planning to ensure these loved ones have resources available for their continued support.

Creating an estate plan protects your assets and ensures your wishes for the future are known. Even if you think it’s too soon to draft an estate plan, you don’t have to worry. At Scarola Law, LLC, we can help you update your estate plan, so it’s always reflective of your life and goals. Our team can help you start the process anytime, all you have to do is reach out.

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