More than ever, “sisters are doing it for themselves”. The proof? Well, just look around you. If you want something more official, though, the Boston Consulting Group says one billion women now participate in the global workforce, and this number will increase to 1.2 billion over the next five years. What’s more, women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37% of enterprises globally, according to Entrepreneur India.
But – and there’s always a “but” following really good news – too few of these women are taking action early enough to secure their futures, and the futures of their families and business interests through estate planning.
In a nutshell, estate planning is “the act of preparing for the transfer of a person's wealth and assets after his or her death”, and it’s a must-have if you have children, a job or run your own business, because women generally outlive men by six years or longer, and, in 2015, a poll of more than 9 500 women in the G20 countries revealed that 44% found work/life balance to be their biggest work-related issue.
According to experts, the above information taken together means women are concerned about protecting and empowering their children, but are becoming more worried that they may not have enough in retirement for themselves, especially if their husbands predecease them.
Fortunately, such situations can be avoided through estate planning. Now, any form of financial planning can be tricky, so we’ve laid out the basics to get you started.
A holistic estate plan includes:
A good move if you run your own company and want to ensure its longevity, succession planning is the development of internal people into key leadership roles.
This is a crucial part of an estate plan if you want to continue to provide for your children after your death. Intergenerational planning involves, for instance, appointing guardians for minor children, identifying trustees to manage funds and drafting a will.
Essentials of an estate plan:
Every estate plan must include the following:
A will: A will is a legally-binding statement instructing who will receive your property at your death.
A trust: A legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank), called a "trustee" holds legal title to property for another person, the "beneficiary." Trusts have one set of beneficiaries during those beneficiaries' lives, and another set who benefit only after the first group has died.
Power of Attorney: This allows a person you appoint to act in your place for financial purposes if you ever become too weak.
Beneficiary designations: Make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date, or the distribution of benefits may be controlled by the state.
Proper estate planning is complex, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with a financial advisor who can help you build a more prosperous and secure tomorrow for yourself, family or business.