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Idaho Estate Planning Estate Planning for Men

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

We live in a world where society is constantly discussing, arguing, debating, and sometimes outright fighting about gender-related issues. The dizzying array of topics about just men range from the emasculation of men to the newly coined and ragingly popular topic of “toxic masculinity”. Whatever your feelings or thoughts are about these topics, the basic notion that men and women are different is simply true. It’s even true when it comes to estate planning. To be sure, while there are some things that each person needs as part of their basic estate plan, regardless of what gender they are, there are also some very unique and specific things that should be considered based on gender.

At the Racine law office, our team of premier estate planning attorneys have assisted each of our clients in preparing a customized estate plan that will meet their needs based on their particular circumstances. Each member of our team has achieved the highest ratings possible on all of the most popular legal ranking service is available today. Our team includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley. Our estate planning attorneys each have the experience, skill, and no it’s necessary to answer your questions and help you create your own customized estate plan.

The purpose of this article is to focus on some of the specific needs that men may have when it comes to completing their own personalized estate planning. Because life is not static, it’s likely that at some point the circumstances in a man’s life may change which may create a need for estate planning or a change in an existing estate plan. While this article is not meant to be exhaustive, I hope that it causes men to think about the issues they may be facing that are unique to them when it comes to estate planning.

Single Men

It’s been my experience that most of the single man I talk to about estate planning believe that they have no need for an estate plan. These men reason that because they are single, there really is no need for them to have any estate planning. In fact the comment that usually comes up is that estate planning is for older men or for married men who have a wife or children. The reality is, that this is not true.

Each person, including single men, should have at least a basic estate plan in place. This would include a last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a power of attorney for health care. The most important of these documents, which are documents that could have an impact on a man while he is alive, are the powers of attorney and the living will.

In previous articles we have covered in detail what each of these documents accomplish in protecting you so I won’t go into detail here. However, I will state that by having these documents, you have a plan in place that will avoid the need for any type of expensive guardianship proceedings in court, and you will likely also be able to avoid having your family disagree about what should be done.

Married Men

A man who is married they have additional estate planning issues that he should be considering as well. Perhaps the biggest issue that he should be considering, and one that is backed by numerous studies and statistics, is that it is likely that he will pass away before his wife. In fact, the most recent studies that a person can review show that a woman is likely to live 4 to 10 years longer than a man.

The reason it is important to understand this is because of the circumstances that each married man may find himself in. If he is the primary breadwinner of the family, then he should seriously consider having adequate life insurance as part of his a basic estate plan. If the family is relying on his income, and suddenly his income is gone because he has passed away, not only will his family be dealing with his death, but they may also be dealing with serious financial problems as well.

If he is not the primary breadwinner but he is the person in the family that takes care of a deals with all of the family finances, then he should consider the fact that the family could be crippled financially if they do not understand what is going on. In this circumstance we try to help him understand the importance of including his wife and children in the family finances so that everyone has a clear understanding of how they operate.

Divorced Men

A divorce, is a major life change that could occur to both men and women. When this does happen, it’s important for that person’s estate planning to be changed to update the fact that they are no longer married. What often-overlooked area that usually is not taken care of is changing the beneficiary designations that they currently exist on life insurance policies, employment retirement plan such as 401 k s, IRAs, annuities, health savings accounts, and other types of financial accounts. Well this is not necessarily a gender-related issue, it is something that men must consider and take care of after a divorce occurs. Designation should also be changed on your basic estate plan including your powers of attorney, and your last will and testament.

Men in a Second Marriage

Men who have entered into a second marriage also have a unique issue that must be considered. This is again based on the fact that statistics show that they are more likely to pass away before their new spouse. Because of this, a second marriage creates some unique issues that need to be dealt with especially if the man has children from his first marriage. In this instance, really regardless of whether it is a man or a woman who is in the second marriage, we usually recommend using a property separation agreement, or a trust, or a combination of the two as part of the estate planning process.

Gender really isn’t an issue when it comes to basic estate planning. However, gender does have an impact in some specific areas. For these reasons, we try to take these considerations into mine when we are helping each of our clients with their estate planning. If you have questions or concerns about your own estate planning, we are confident that we can help you too!

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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