As we said in our last post, we do have a point, and it is this: Women earn less than men, and that has a direct impact on their retirement and estate planning. Nationwide, women earn about $16,000 a year after age 65. Men? Men earn almost $27,000. While working, women earn 77 cents on the dollar, but in retirement women earn about 60 cents on the dollar (the dollar earned by men, that is).
Change is slow, says the Institute for Women's Policy Research, especially when it comes to closing the gender wage gap. Considering how much progress the country has made since the Equal Pay Act was passed 50 years ago, the IWPR figures we will finally reach our goal -- women and men will actually earn equal pay (on average) for equal work -- in 2058. It will have taken 100 years of baby steps to close the 40 cent gap identified in 1963's "American Women: Report of the President's Commission on the Status of Women."
Sometimes it is important to closely consider whose interests are being promoted in an estate plan.
The average American family looks very different than it did in previous generations. Large families with a lot of kids used to be the norm, but many couples now choose to have between one and three children, and some couples decide to forego having kids altogether.
A form that was supposed to be an easy and inexpensive way to create a will turned out to be anything but that, according to a recent state court decision. The court wrote that the case provided a cautionary tale to others about estate planning and noted that some efforts to save costs early in the process could wind up costing much more down the line.
The practice of estate planning is as old as civilization itself and the issue of what one leaves behind and to whom remains as relevant and complicated as ever. Laws in this area have evolved somewhat with the changing times but the basic issues remain the same – how to organize one’s affairs so that loved ones can benefit from remaining assets with as little difficulty as possible.
Estate planning is very important for people in California, no matter their age. Those who are later in life might want to consider forming an estate plan as soon as possible. People who are younger, should also form estate plans. However, one mistake people sometimes make is that they form an estate plan early in life and then simply forget about it.
Married couples who have begun the estate planning process probably already know that it is common to create complimentary wills with one’s spouse. Some people choose to create joint wills or wills that take the other’s plans into account, while others choose to keep their last will and testament confidential and separate from their spouse. There is no one right way to complete this process, it is up to the individuals to determine what makes the most sense for them.
It can be tempting once an estate plan is finished to simply put the paperwork in a filing cabinet and never give it a second thought, but most estate planning experts would advise against that. Estate plans should be periodically revisited to make sure they are up-to-date with current laws and with your current wishes for how your assets are distributed. At the same time, there are some types of life events that should be accompanied by an estate plan review
Making an estate plan is a complex process that can sometimes take quite a while, from the time that you lay out all your assets to the final process of executing a will properly in front of witnesses, months can pass. For people who are experiencing a serious illness or even those in relatively good health, this span of time could make a big difference. In one recent case a man suddenly passed away while in the process of updating his estate plan, leaving his sons to pursue legal action to see that his final wishes were respected.