Women and Finance 

Oh, the dreaded “f” word.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always hated that time of year when I had to decide what type of funds to invest my retirement account in.  Believe me, I’d rather have a root canal sans Novocain than have to spend time studying return rates and interest yields.  Why is it so many of us shudder at the thought of making our own financial decisions?  Is it that many of us grew up in homes where those decisions were made by the male head of the household?  Were money matters considered inappropriate dinner conversation?  Or is it that on top of handling our own careers, women are still responsible for running 90% of the household, and if it weren’t for financial decisions and lawn care, our spouses would have nothing to occupy their time? 

True, in the past there were very few resources that were “female friendly” just as there were few car salesman capable of selling an automobile to a woman without talking down to her.  But, my fellow financial fraidy cats, help has arrived.  More and more marketing and investment firms are recognizing the need to target the ever increasing numbers of women in today’s workforce and have created resources to help take the fear out of finances. 

Some of these resources include: - this website is designed especially for women and includes articles on investing, managing debt, getting a mortgage, financial calculators, financial glossary, you name it they have it, right down to what questions to ask when buying a used car.  - learn investing; learn mutual funds, personal financial planning, investment books, loan calculator, and retirement & mortgage calculators. - this website contains not only financial and investment information, but also information on balancing work and home, personal growth, and legal issues such as preparing a will.


It would be impossible to discuss every topic here, so we’ve chosen a few that we felt would be of interest to our readers. 

Where there’s a will…

Do you really need an attorney to write your will? Yes, and here’s why.

If You Don’t Have a Will

Generally, without a will, your immediate family members will be entitled to control and receive your property. That may be okay. However, you need to understand that laws controlling who will inherit your property may change. Two recent changes in Colorado include:

  • If you’re married and have children (with no children from a previous marriage or relationship), your spouse will receive all of your property.
  • If you are married and have no children, your property may be divided between your spouse and your parents.

What Can a Will Do?


Many people have a misconception that you only need a will if you have a lot of money. That’s not true. A properly drafted will includes a clearly stated designation of the estate’s representative. If applicable, the will also should have designation of a guardian for minor children, establishment of special trusts for minor children, designations of desired charitable gifts, or specific gifts of items to certain individuals.


In addition, if you (and your spouse, if you’re married) have assets (including life insurance and retirement funds) of more than $625,000, proper estate planning can minimize the amount of estate (inheritance) taxes. In essence, a well written will can help ensure that your property, regardless of the amount, goes to the right people at the right time in the right proportions.


An out-of-date will, however, can result in numerous problems and unintended results. In fact, an old will may be more dangerous than not having a will at all. Therefore, changes in tax laws, marriage, divorce, the birth of children and an increase in net worth are all reasons to have a will reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney.


Who Should Write Your Will?


An attorney who is educated in estate planning is the best person to write your will. Because a will is a legal document, it’s best prepared by an attorney who can identify and understand the legal and tax issues involved with your particular situation.

Do-it-yourself will forms and computer programs should be avoided. You get what you pay for, and only a qualified estate-planning lawyer can correctly prepare a will that complies with applicable Federal tax laws and state statutes.


Estate Planning


Proper estate planning includes an overall analysis of how you want your assets to be owned, managed and preserved during your lifetime and how you want them distributed upon death. A well-crafted plan can minimize taxes and other costs. It also includes planning for possible mental or physical incapacity.


Medical and financial powers of attorney enable you to decide in advance who will make decisions if you are unable to make them.


The above material is considered the combined property of Ansie and Allie.
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