Facing life without your husband can at times create new challenges which can lead to anxiety, stress, and fear, especially when it comes to making long-term decisions. Overnight, decisions that were once made jointly become a task you must face on your own.
While it’s important for most people to have an estate plan, for a widowed wife, it becomes even more critical. A time to start paying attention to the details in order to prevent what could be costly oversights.
Some estate planning tips for widows, that could help avoid mistakes, include:
- Keep your estate plan up to date — Laws can change as can your personal situation and your wishes. Plan to periodically review your plan.
- Plan to gift property to your children — Outright gifts to your children can create problems. If your property has substantial value, consider working with a qualified estate planning attorney to discuss trusts or other legal vehicles to hold the property.
- Reduce your estate taxes — A certain portion of your estate is exempt from taxation (in 2019, the amount was the first $11.4 million). When your spouse dies, you can use the unused part of their exemption.
- Prepare for potential disability — You’ll need to decide who will serve as guardian or conservator to act in your best interest should you become incapacitated. Advance directives, powers of attorney, and designated trustees are all legal options.
- Establish funeral arrangements — Planning for your funeral as part of your estate plan may help relieve family members of additional stress after your death.
More Reading on the Subject
If you have recently been widowed, you are going to have important financial decisions to make. Many of then can have serious implications for your future now that you are single. “Estate Planning for Women Only,” written by Jeffrey M. Verdon, estate planning attorney in California, provides an overview of the important areas of comprehensive estate planning, life insurance planning, and wealth protections through risk management and risk mitigation structure.
Estate Planning for Women Only addresses female focused estate plans. It provides practical information of value that every woman, whether single, married, or widowed, should know about to protect themselves and their families.