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Estate Planning for Nontraditional Couples

Tell me about your business and how you help women?

I assist clients in developing and implementing an estate plan to guard against a lack of financial security, unnecessary taxes, expensive Court and legal costs, and/or family conflicts in the event of death, incapacity and/or a transfer of wealth within a family.

Even in our modern society, women often bear the lion’s share of the responsibility of planning for the entire family unit and ensuring the family is “taken care of.” From nominating Guardians for minor children, to making sure there is enough in the estate to meet the family’s needs, it is often the women who feel the stress and pressure if things are “unsettled.” I educate women on what an estate plan entails, the role each document plays, and the various options so that they have a plan that meets their needs and the needs of their family.

What tip can you give women regarding estate planning?

It is important that women know and understand what their estate plan entails. Make sure you understand exactly how everything is laid out in your estate plan and review your plan annually.

Even if you have not affirmatively made an estate plan, there is plan that has been provided for you by the state in which you reside. The question is whether the plan you have (whether it is the one provided by the state or the one you previously completed) fulfills your needs and the needs of your family.

What does being a Financially Wise Woman mean to you?

To me, a Financially Wise Woman means being informed – from what her actual monthly/annual spending is in various categories, to planning for her family’s future (size, timing) and preparing for retirement. A Financially Wise Woman needs to understand her current financial picture and future goals, and maintain a close tie to both so that she can understand her progress.

What was the best piece of money advice you were taught growing up or learned during your lifetime?

The best piece of money advice I was taught was to own money, not let money own me. As it was taught to me, this is a wide-ranging principal that manifests itself in a multitude of ways. First, unplanned debt owns you, you do not own it. Therefore, plan your debt wisely (e.g., student loans, buying a home, etc.) so that it is manageable and you have a solid plan and ability to repay the debt without too much strain. Second, plan your lifestyle wisely so that you enjoy your life, not so that you are required to work your life away in order to afford your lifestyle.

What is your spending vice?

Dining out – it is easy and delicious, but extremely costly and, when taken to the extreme, unhealthy.

Willow A. McJilton Estate Planning Attorney 1875 Century Park East, Suite 700 Los Angeles, California 90067

Willow A. Mc Jilton is not affiliated with Perennial Financial or LPL Financial. LPL Financial and Perennial Financial do not provide Legal advice or services.