Estate Planning Essentials for Independent Women

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by Andrew Kulha
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April 21, 2023
Estate plan for independent women

Key Planning Considerations Through All Financial Milestones

Like financial planning, women face unique opportunities, challenges, and concerns in estate planning. This can be especially true during periods of transition, whether that is continued business success, divorce, children off to college, or losing a spouse.

I’ve put together this high-level guide to help answer some of the most important questions around estate planning and to provide four key considerations for how to create an estate plan that reflects your values and priorities.

The Benefits of Updating Your Estate Plan

After a major life change such as the birth of a grandchild, it’s critical to update your estate plan to reflect your new circumstances. It may be time to create a separate bequest in your will. Or after a divorce, this may include removing your ex-spouse as an heir, designating new beneficiaries for your assets, or updating your powers of attorney and healthcare directives. In many states, your ex-spouse may be treated as having predeceased you, but it’s best practice to clean up your documents and have them reflect your new wishes.

Life changes can also include your or your child’s remarriage, or changes in relationships with family members. By working with your Mission Wealth advisor and an experienced estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your current wishes and protects your assets.

Protecting Your Assets and Minimizing Taxes

If you do plan to remarry or start a new relationship, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement or other legal documents to protect your assets and ensure they are distributed according to your wishes. A prenuptial agreement allows you to preserve the separate property assets you’ve earned before your marriage and inheritances (if you live in a community property state).

If you have significant assets, you may need to consider strategies to minimize estate taxes and other costs associated with transferring your assets to your beneficiaries. This may include setting up trusts, gifting assets during your lifetime, or other tax-efficient strategies.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to an estate plan that meets your desires, so it’s important that you work with your Mission Wealth financial advisor and our dedicated, in-house strategy group to devise a plan that fits your needs. From there, we can coordinate with an estate planning attorney that can help implement a plan that minimizes the potential tax impact on your loved ones.

Providing for Retirement and Future Long-Term Care Needs

On average, women tend to live longer than men. This means that women generally need to plan for a longer retirement period, with more focus on ensuring financial security and healthcare provisions in their later years. This is especially important if the former spouse was the main earner or if you took time off from your own career, leading to reduced lifetime earnings.

Additionally, neglecting to address health and long-term care needs in an estate plan can leave some women and their loved ones unprepared for future challenges in the event of illness or disability. Your Mission Wealth financial advisor can help you evaluate your options and create a plan that provides for your current income and future care needs.

Incorporating Philanthropic Values

As an independent woman, you may have strong philanthropic principles and want to leave a legacy that reflects those values. You may also want to consider leaving gifts to charities or setting up a charitable trust to support causes that are important to you.

Your Mission Wealth advisor and our in-house Director of Philanthropy can help you identify the right structures and aid organizations that align with your unique goals. From there, we’ll help you craft a strategy that incorporates your philanthropic plan and ensures that your legacy reflects your values.

Mission Wealth Estate and Trust Planning Services

While the themes above can influence the approach to financial and estate planning for women, it is essential to remember that everyone’s circumstances are unique. By working with an experienced wealth advisor and estate planning attorney, you can create a comprehensive plan that protects your assets, provides for your future needs, and leaves a lasting impact on your loved ones.

Reach out to a wealth advisor today to receive a complimentary consultation and learn the benefits of crafting your own holistic financial and estate plan.

Feel empowered with the confidence and resources you need to take control of your financial well-being.

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Advice for Women Investors at Mission Wealth

Mission Wealth was founded on a vision to empower families to pursue their financial dreams. That vision has grown into a mission to inspire people, optimize their finances, and achieve their life goals. With more women in a position to grow their wealth and take financial control of their own futures, in many cases for the first time, Mission Wealth has created Women on a Mission, a group of female wealth and financial advisors and strategists who share a passion to help other women achieve their financial goals.

Founded in 2000, Mission Wealth is a nationally recognized RIA that oversees more than $5.3 billion in client assets under management. Mission Wealth is known for its service model, driven by a world-class technology stack that offers financial planning, investment counsel, tax services, estate planning and philanthropic strategies, and asset protection solutions tailored to each client’s needs.

If you are looking for more information about Mission Wealth’s financial planning or wealth management services, please visit missionwealth.com.

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