Many of us think that we have plenty of time to focus on our retirement. While this may be true for some, many Illinois residents wait far too long before implementing a plan that protects their financial security in the future. The same holds true for estate planning. In most instances, individuals hold off on estate planning because they hate the idea of confronting their own mortality. For others, again, they feel like they have plenty of time to address the issue. Yet, estate planning is something that should be done early and updated often.
Estate planning, while essential for all individuals, may be especially important for women. Why? One reason is that, on average, women live longer than men. This means that women need to ensure that they not only have enough to cover their longer life but also that an estate plan is in place to handle their spouse's and their own assets upon their passing. Additionally, some women may find themselves at a financial disadvantage if they have taken time off work to help raise a family. For these women, the details of an estate plan can be pivotal to their financial well-being.
So what can these individuals do to ensure they and their loved ones are protected? First, they need to ensure they understand what assets they and their spouse possess. Second, they need to consider and prepare for how they would like those assets to be distributed upon their or their spouse's death. These individuals should also be sure to prepare for the need for end-of-life care.
To ensure an estate plan is crafting according to one's wishes, a number of legal documents may need to be carefully drafted. This may include a will, a power of attorney and one or more trusts. To ensure that these documents are created in a way that is sufficient, legal, and adherent to one's wishes, an individual may want to discuss the matter with a qualified estate planning legal team.