I recently ran across this Forbes.com article about how critically important estate planning is for women.  The article points out how women have been responsible for many accomplishments throughout time and how many of them have become quite successful by any standard.  Yet, even with their increased stature and accomplishment, it seems few have taken the time to do proper estate planning.  The article gives a very interesting statistic comparing weight loss and estate planning . . . you’ll have to read it.

Some of the reasons pointed out in the article for women to do estate planning right now are:

  • Women are more likely to live longer,
  • Married women are more likely to outlive their spouse than are men,
  • “Traditional” estate planning seems to minimize the role of women in the planning, and
  • Your children could very well be lost in the shuffle and end up with caregivers you would not want if something happened to you.

As a Grand Rapids, Mi estate planning lawyer many of my clients have expressed one or more of the above concerns when discussing their planning.  As with most estate planning articles I read, Ms. Jacobs points out the importance of naming guardians in your Will for your minor children.  And like most articles, she stops there.  Well, if you want to help ensure that your children don’t end up in the arms of strangers for any period of time, you need to do much more than just put guardian nominations in your Will.  That’s why all of my clients with minor children have a Children Protection Plan.

And is typical of estate planning articles, the focus is on financial assets.  No matter what your age, children or no children, married or not married, you should look far beyond the financial assets and work with a Michigan estate planning attorney who can help you plan for your Whole Family Wealth – not just what you have but also who you are!  All women have valuable values, insights, stories and experiences that should be shared with family, friends and acquaintances.  And yet, the one thing that is lost when someone passes away – the non-financial assets – is the thing that “traditional” estate planners overlook.

To all the women reading this, please read the article.  Then read it again in light of this blog post.  After reading both, why wouldn’t you “take charge” and move forward with your estate planning?  Your family’s future could very well depend on you!

Michael Lichterman is an estate planning and business planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™.  This goes beyond merely planning for finances – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on estate and asset protection planning for  the “experienced” generation, the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, family owned businesses and pet planning.  He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients – many of which have become great friends.