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Estate and succession planning for women

Women running their own businesses must pay special attention to estate planning and matters concerning succession planning.

Now, more than ever, ‘sisters are doing it for themselves’. A 2019 survey showed that 47% of women participate in the global workforce, and this number is expected to increase over the next five years.

Globally, only one in three businesses are women-owned. 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.

Estate planning for women in business

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.

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 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:

  • Succession planning: 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.
  • Intergenerational planning: 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 the legal title to the assets of 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 on your behalf and make decisions for you when it comes to private and business affairs.
  • Beneficiary designations: Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date otherwise your assets will be paid out to the estate.

Proper estate planning is complex, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with a financial advisor who can help you build a more affluent and secure tomorrow for yourself, family or business.

Next step

Go to our Financial Planning page to explore your estate planning options, or use the comments field to chat to customers and consultants in the Community.