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Let's stop pretending that being good at money means you need to be good at math. Instead, let's listen to our body and our mind.
As a woman, it can be challenging to balance being a wife, mother and employee. I know this, because every day, I set unrealistic expectations for myself to tackle a laundry list of tasks that no ordinary human can accomplish. But, ‘I’m not normal,’ I think to myself. Yet, I still can’t check off all the items I’d hoped for.
Gender norms still exist, and they significantly impact our behaviours as men and women. Although these typical biases are now outdated, they trickle in through our upbringing. Women are raised to be nurturing and taught to manage their relationships. Whereas, we raise men to be assertive.
A Harvard Business Review study found that women offer more emotional support than men, even when tasked with the same responsibilities of a full-time job. It’s also statistically proven that even if both partners work, regardless of who is the higher-earner, women are still more likely to be the primary caregiver to any children.
Being a woman is taxing — literally. You are paid less for the same work, expected to take on a majority of the childcare responsibilities, and bound to the societal standard that puts the emotional support duty on your back.
On top of it all, we’re statistically less confident in our finances, and we’re less likely to have a will. An Angus Reid study found that women are noticeably less likely than men to have a legal will in place and are nearly twice as likely to point to the legal costs associated with writing one as the main reason.
In that same study, they found that single women who earn less than $50,000 annually feel that they don’t have enough assets to obtain a will and that the legal fees to get a will are too high. Among those reasons, the highest percentage — 30 — say they’re too young to worry about their will.
So, surprisingly, it’s not actually about the thought of death that scares women away from planning for their estate.
But, I have to ask whether things have changed given the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused in our society. Suddenly, things like life insurance and estate planning might seem more relevant than we once thought. It turns out that global pandemics don’t care how young we are.
Regardless of the reasons, though, the numbers show that 54% of women don’t have a will — and that is a problem.
Two of the most significant reasons you need a will as a woman are that if you are married to a man, you will statistically outlive them. Second, there is a chance that one day, you may divorce your partner.
No one wants to think about either of these scenarios. They’re overwhelming because they’re not within our control. But realistically, the only way to gain back that control is by taking steps to protect yourself in case of loss.
The other reasons are as follows:
From your retirement fund to your travel rewards points, you need to plan for what might happen if you pass.
If you are married, specific laws can restrict you from accessing your partner’s accounts if you don’t have the passwords. Take the example of a Canadian woman whose CEO husband unexpectedly died without giving her login access to his $190 million company.
Assigning guardianship was the main reason I created my online will, and if you have children (or pets), this should be a priority for you as well. Without guardianship, it’s not within your control who will take care of your children after you pass away.
If you have your own company, you need to protect your family from the significant amount of work that could follow without any paperwork or plans for an unexpected death.
Ultimately, the moments that follow someone passing away are full of a ton of administrative work that a will can streamline while also reducing stress.
Although most women don’t have wills, LegalWills.ca found that 51.6% of their users are women. The easily accessible option to create a will online and affordable list of services is a huge win for anyone who can’t justify a $1,000 lawyer bill or carve out time for an in-office meeting.
The average cost of preparing a Will in Canada, using a lawyer, is $300 to $1,700. Using LegalWills.ca, you can create a last will for $39.95. A complete estate plan includes a Last Will & Testament, a Financial Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive. These three documents together at LegalWills.ca are $89.85.
In past conversations with legal professionals, the only downside they could cite to online will planning was that you can’t add too many complexities (i.e., divorce). LegalWills.ca offers a service to have a lawyer go over your will for a much more realistic price point of $69.
Creating a will online is the best way to save money and accomplish everything you need to satisfy your need to have a legal document to protect your assets and loved ones.
One of the main concerns for me was storing my digital assets in a safe space without having to keep a hard copy. LegalWills.ca now has me covered as I use their Life Locker to store personal information. Another pleasant surprise was their completely free service that allows you to write letters to family and friends that will not send until you pass away. This is (strangely) something that I think about quite often as a writer. The importance to me to leave behind words of love and memory to share with your people is incredibly high.
LegalWills.ca has been in business for 20 years and has a reputation for being a pioneer in online will services. Wills have to go through a probate process once you pass away, which can slow things down and make things difficult for the family if you’re unprepared, but LegalWills has seen hundreds of their Wills make it through probate without any issue.
If you’re looking for a Canadian company that has extremely flexible software, joint Executor appointments and zero restrictions on estate distribution (like I was), this is a great choice for you and your family.
Ultimately, the barriers women face regarding their financial lives can carry over into many parts of our money. The one place you want to avoid that barrier to cause problems is if the unexpected were to happen — death.
With companies creating these essential legal documents more accessible and more affordable, it’s time to take advantage of these opportunities and protect the wealth that we work so incredibly hard to build, even if it doesn’t seem like a ton of money to you.
This post was sponsored by LegalWills.ca, but all personal thoughts and opinions throughout this blog post are my own. Please note that I am an affiliate to their services, which provides you with a 15% discount as a customer using this link.
Oh no, you missed the live webinar! But, good news: Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone planning for a future child or family.
Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone looking to cut back on non-essential spending. My most-requested product is these monthly calendars to share on your Instagram story, use as a phone background, or print off to track your spending habits.
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