Planning for the future can be difficult, especially when you’re busy being a wife or mother. Women face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning so it is important for them to be aware of the different types of issues they should address in their individual estate plans.

Women are usually known for taking care of everyone else and their estate plans usually reflect this too. However, an estate plan should also provide protection for women and help everyone else know their wishes.

What should women think about when creating their estate plan? For women who have children, it is important to have a will that names a guardian for any minor children. A guardian will be the person who will care for your kids in the event you are incapacitated or pass away. Women with kids should also consider having an advance health care directive and power of attorney to make sure their wishes are known, especially regarding life-sustaining medical treatments.

Women who don’t have children should also have a will, power of attorney and advance health care directive. These documents will help your loved ones and those taking care of you as you get older know your wishes. 

In addition to having these documents, women should make sure they review and update their beneficiary designations on their life insurance, retirement plans and other financial accounts. Women should review their beneficiary designations after they get married, divorced, have children or after their spouse passes away. It is important to review and update these documents because failing to do so could result in money going to someone who is no longer alive or someone you no longer have a relationship with.

Women in California should be aware of the different types of issues to address in their estate plans and take action now before it’s too late. 

Source: Market Watch, “How women can make estate planning easier,” Andrea Coombes, May 8, 2014