Women leave estate planning to men

While women have made great strides in business and politics over the past 25 years, many still appear to rely on men to handle their financial matters, especially when it comes to estate planning.

A recent survey by Prudential found only 14 percent of women have done some form of detailed planning - like a will, trust, estate plan - to ensure their money is passed along smoothly. Yet 70 percent of those polled said the idea of passing money on to heirs is important. In addition, only 46 percent said they have a will, trust, or estate plan in place.

"I've seen many people procrastinate, and the result is little or nothing gets passed on to family members," says Vivian Banta, CEO of the US Consumer Group at Prudential.

The solution: Women need to take a hands-on approach when it comes to money.

"Women traditionally are caregivers, and they often put themselves last, especially in finance-related matters," says Veronica West, president of Financial Women International, an association of financial-service professionals. "With so many aging American women, the lack of preparedness for those later years poses a potential crisis. That's why it's critical that we educate women about the dangers of not planning in advance."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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