Women shoulder many responsibilities. We work, take care of our families, and try to have a social life. It’s no wonder we put estate planning on the back burner. But what most women don’t realize is that estate planning is one of the most important things we can do for our loved ones. It’s not just about making sure our belongings go to the right people when we die. It’s also about protecting ourselves and our families financially. Here are five financial-related reasons that women must make estate planning a priority:

Reason #1: Women earn less than men

The gender pay gap is a real and persistent problem in the United States. According to a 2021 study by the Center for American Progress, women earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity exists across all industries and educational levels. The pay gap is even worse for Black and Latinx of color, who earn even less than white women. The pay gap widens as women get older. By the end of 2021, with the median earnings ratio for women over 65 years and older old falling to just 74.25 percent of what men earn. While the pay gap is a problem that needs to be addressed on a systemic level, it’s also essential for women to be aware of its implications for their finances and health care. Women need to estate plan accordingly. Estate planning can help women make the most of their hard-earned money and ensure that their loved ones are taken care of in the event of their death.

Reason #2: Women are more likely to be single parents

If you’re a single parent, it’s even more critical to have an estate plan. 80% of single parents are mothers in the U.S., compared to just 16% of fathers leading single-parent families, making it challenging to raise children and provide for them financially. An estate plan can help you ensure that your children are taken care of financially if something happens to you. You need to designate a guardian for your children in the event of your death or incapacity. An estate plan can also help you ensure that your children are taken care of financially if something happens to you.

Reason #3: Women live longer than men

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women have a life expectancy of 79.9 years, while men have 74.2 years. This difference is even more significant for Black women, who have a life expectancy of 83 years, and Latinas, 85 years. This longevity advantage means that women need to plan for a longer retirement and long-term care. An estate plan can help women ensure that their finances are in order and have a plan for their care if they become incapacitated.

Reason #4: Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, women are more likely than men to be victims of domestic violence. One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence. This statistic is even higher for women of color. Domestic violence can have a profound effect on a woman’s financial security. It can make it challenging to keep a job or earn an income. An estate plan can help women protect their assets and ensure that they and their loved ones are taken care of in an emergency.

Reason #5: Women are more likely to be caregivers

Women are also more likely than men to be caregivers. According to a 2020 National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP report, women make up 61% of all caregivers in the United States. This significant caregiving responsibility can often be overwhelming. An estate plan can help women plan for their caregiving responsibilities and ensure that their loved ones are taken care of if something happens to them.

Estate planning is a significant financial consideration for every woman. It’s vital for women who are single parents, victims of domestic violence, or caregivers. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, now is the time to get one. You need to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of if something happens to you. If you need help getting started, contact a financial planner or an estate planning attorney to create a plan that meets your unique needs and ensures that your loved ones are cared for according to your wishes.