On the very short list entitled “Covid-19 Silver Linings” there is one especially noteworthy item: due to the pandemic women, more than at any other time, are taking control of their finances. This is, of course, a development that has been in the works for years. Multitudes of financially savvy women have long known that because of their longer life expectancy, statistically shorter work tenure, and on-average lower earnings, they need to take at least as active of a role in personal financial management as their male counterparts. Nonetheless, despite ours being a society as engaged as ever in the pursuit of gender equality, mainstream awareness of the need to close the gap on financial literacy did not arrive until Covid-19 forced it into view. With families needing to contend with the possibility that one (or both parents) may pass and with men suffering disproportionately from severe cases of Covid-19, women needed to ensure they were on top of family finances.
Naturally, they did just this. A survey conducted by Swiss bank UBS found that 63% of women have changed how they think about money due to the pandemic. Likewise, a study by Fidelity saw 67% of women report greater engagement with financial management and expanded efforts to protect their assets. If you are a woman and this is news to you, the following list offers a crash course in things you need to do to catch up.
- Learn how your shared assets are titled and what is and is not in joint accounts. Should your partner suffer prolonged illness or death this information will be crucial in gaining access to the finances needed to keep your family afloat.
- Know where all important documents are stored and ensure you can get to them. Note the login credentials and whereabouts for all accounts, including investment, retirement, marital assets, and trusts.
- Speak to your partner about purchasing life insurance and be sure you are the beneficiary of their plan.
- Develop a plan for your own long-term care by either purchasing insurance or working with an estate planning attorney to organize assets so that you may be approved for Medicaid when you need it.
- Take a look at your personal finances and ensure you have ready access to six months of your family’s total expenses, including housing, taxes, and personal expenses.
- Find a trusted attorney and ask about implementing a revocable living trust so that should your partner pass, you can step directly into their shoes and begin managing family assets immediately.
This is, of course, only a partial list. The best way to gain complete control of your finances is to build knowledge of the subject. Don’t shy away from chances to talk about asset management and take the lead on putting together an estate plan for your family. Not only does the latter protect your loved ones from financial strife, but it also necessitates that you build a holistic view of your assets which will help you manage them securely and confidently for years to come.
To get started, don’t hesitate to give our office a call at 216-341-3413 in Independence, OH, 614-344-0456 in Dublin, OH, or through the free consultation contact form on our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center