A large number of women who are married admit to actively taking steps to prepare for the possibility of divorce even if their marriages are relatively happy. The high percentage of divorce in the United States has created an atmosphere of concern for the future of the individual versus the future of a couple. Unfortunately, women do not always take the time to prepare for other situations that could leave them without their spouse. Planning for widowhood is an unpleasant necessity that many adults overlook, creating serious problems for themselves and their families in the future.
Divorce statistics are often discussed, especially in reference to planning for a financial future. However, the women who find themselves widowed are not usually considered when planning for the possibility of become single unexpectedly. Today approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce, while a surprising 35% of marriages end with a woman becoming a widow. The trauma of widowhood can easily be as, or more, devastating than suddenly being served with divorce papers, and in both cases. a woman may find herself financially unprepared to care for herself or her children.
Common Questions with No Answers
A woman who is widowed could find herself asking many questions and the answers or lack thereof can reveal how truly out of touch she is with her family’s finances. Questions that arise include:
- Where have we invested?
- How much money do we need to survive annually?
- What property should I sell?
- Is my credit tied up with my spouse’s credit?
Before you know if you and your family will be financially stable after the loss of a spouse, you must first have an up-to-date view of your finances. Not knowing what you have, where your assets are, if you can sell property or obtain credit on your own, and whether or not you have the ability to manage your financial portfolio alone can lead to a disaster when you are most vulnerable. Women who are secure in their relationships place themselves at risk by not taking an interest in their finances so that they are prepared for the loss of their spouse.
Why You Must Plan
Discussing the possible death of a spouse is something that no couple wants to do, but it is a conversation that every couple must have. In the United States an alarming number of women who are widowed live the remainder of their lives below the poverty level, while the rest of the world reports that half of all widows and their children live in poverty. Even though many women believe that they could manage their households If their spouse passed away, a large percentage report having no will, no power of attorneys, and no clear idea of their family’s long-term plan in the face of a financial emergency or permanent loss of income. Without a will, life insurance, or an out of date estate plan or beneficiary designation that names a previous spouse or children from another relationship, widows can be left with little or nothing.
Talk to an Attorney
Preparing for the loss of a spouse through death or divorce is not easy and is not something that should be undertaken alone. Turning to a qualified family law attorney ensures that you receive advice that reflects current laws and is tailored to suit your unique situation. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum is ready to work with you to protect your interests in a variety of circumstances. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation in Atlanta, Georgia so that we can begin providing you with the legal advice you need.