Estate Planning Considerations for Women


In a shifting landscape where financial independence and individual choices take center stage, a growing number of older women are choosing to remain single. The phenomenon of women staying single, whether by choice or through circumstances like divorce or widowhood, is gaining momentum.

According to a recent Washington Post article, women who more advanced in age, are choosing to remain financially independent and in control of their own decisions, especially if they accumulate wealth through independent careers or are accustomed to lifelong control of their own finances. Of 22 million US households worth more than 1 million one 3rd are headed by women. Financial independence may be a priority for women with independent wealth and children from previous marriages or relationships.

Key Estate Planning Issues:

For single women managing their finances independently, estate planning becomes an important aspect of securing their future. Several issues come into play, such as ensuring a fair inheritance for children from previous marriages, retaining alimony, Social Security, and pension benefits post-divorce, managing independent wealth accumulated in retirement plans and 401Ks, and taking charge of long-term care decisions. A notable trend is the rise of “Living Apart Together” (LAT) relationships, where partners maintain separate residences and financial independence.

To navigate these challenges successfully, the following are a few estate planning pointers for single women:

Create a Last Will and Testament: Clearly outline how assets should be distributed and designate responsible individuals.

Make a Revocable Living Trust and consider other trusts that could provide asset protection and take care of family members: Gain control over asset distribution and protection in case of incapacity.

Power of Attorney: Designate someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

Health Care Proxy: Appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in case of incapacity.

Long-Term Care Planning: Consider potential healthcare needs and establish directives outlining preferences for medical treatment. Women’s longer life expectancy means that long-term care needs to be flexible and decision makers carefully selected.

Regular Review and Update: Keep estate planning documents up-to-date to reflect personal changes and adhere to relevant laws.

In an era where marriage may not be the defining factor of commitment, many women are prioritizing financial independence over matrimony. At Amaral and Associates, P.C., we understand the importance of tailored estate planning services for single women. Our seasoned attorneys bring decades of experience in estate planning and family law, offering comprehensive consultations to help individuals understand their resources and plan for a secure future. Whether it is safeguarding assets, addressing inheritance concerns, or planning for long-term care, we provide personalized solutions to meet the unique needs of single women. Please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive estate planning and family law center.

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