It’s vitally important for everyone to have a plan for their estate, but in the absence of a well-crafted plan, women can be affected more often and more directly than men. According to www.forbes.com, women live longer than men, on average, and tend to marry older spouses; this makes women three times more likely as men to be widowed at age 65. An estate plan, as part of an overall retirement plan, is a key necessity for women of all ages, no matter the dollar amount of the estate. Your estate is everything you own when you pass away, including your home, personal property, investments, bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance, and business interests.
Northwest Herald’s article, “Home State Bank Emphasizes Estate Planning For Women,”says that a key aspect of estate planning is designating someone you trust to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters in the event you can't (even temporarily) due to illness or disability. Designate this person in a durable power of attorney.
This durable power of attorney is a separate estate planning document from a living will. It expresses your personal preferences about end-of-life care. Also, you need a health care proxy (or health care power of attorney), which authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you. If you don't have a will or living trust indicating who should receive your estate, remember that your state law will do this for you!
Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney in your area to get all of the facts and to help you create these forms.
Reference: Northwest Herald (May 29, 2015) “Home State Bank Emphasizes Estate Planning For Women”