While the possibility of being single can have a big impact on either spouse, women are often more likely to face more challenges if they are to suddenly become widowed.
One reason for this is that women tend to be less involved when discussing their family’s wealth management strategy. Even though the traditional gender roles of money management are shifting, men are still overwhelmingly driving conversations about money.
One survey of financial advisors found that less than 3% of married women drive conversations about wealth. Additionally, more than 80% of advisors have said most of their married female clients do not have a plan in place in the event their spouse suddenly passes away.
When considering these realities, it is important for couples to take steps to ensure that women are prepared if their spouse dies. These steps can help women feel more secure about their future if anything happens to their spouse.
Have a complete financial inventory
Since men often take control of conversations about money, it is not uncommon for a widow to feel lost when it comes to navigating her financial future. Establishing a comprehensive inventory of the family’s finances will help women understand where they can draw income from if anything happens to their spouse. This will not only help reduce the stress women may feel after their husband dies, it will also help women feel more secure about their future.
Purchase adequate insurance coverage
If the husband is the primary bread winner, a sudden death could have a serious affect on a widow’s standard of living. One way to be better protected against that risk is to have adequate insurance. Whether you opt to purchase a term policy or a permanent policy, make sure you have a policy that will provide enough in death benefits to help you to continue to maintain your current lifestyle.
Strengthen your estate plan
When a spouse dies, it can feel overwhelming trying to move forward after the death. Many important end-of-life decisions can be clearly defined within a comprehensive estate plan. Having wills, trusts and other important estate planning documents in place will provide the surviving spouse with greater peace of mind when navigating the death of their partner.
Estate planning can be complex, and it is common for people to make mistakes when they try to do it on your own. Working with an experienced planning attorney can help you ensure your estate plan is appropriate for you and will help increase the chances that both spouses are adequately protected today and long into the future.