Women control more than half the personal wealth in the United States – more than $14 trillion, according to a recent study by the Bank of Montreal’s Wealth Institute – and that number is expected to rise to more than $20 trillion over the next three years.
While estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of the size of their personal wealth, it becomes especially important for women, who live an average of 5 years longer than men.
To help New Mexico women protect their assets, understand their unique money management needs and make plans to fulfill their end of life wishes, New Mexico State University will host its 10th annual Estate Planning Conference for Women, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 at the Las Cruces campus.
The conference is free, but seating is limited and registration is required to attend. Lunch is provided both days, and free parking is available.
“This two-day workshop is really a candid conversation between the participants and the volunteer experts we’ve brought in to guide them,” said Robert Peterson, director of planned giving with the NMSU Foundation, which hosts the event. “They get to know one another, learn from each other and share their experiences and advice as they gain valuable tools to help them confidently work toward their money management and estate planning goals.”
Topics include legal aspects and asset protection; income and transfer taxes; charitable giving; elder law; life insurance; administration of estates and trusts; retirement income planning; and money management.
The event is co-hosted by R. Glenn Davis, an attorney with the conference’s crimson sponsor, ScottHulse PC. Other sponsors include Beasley, Mitchell & Co., Edward Jones, Estrada Law, the Glass family, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry, United Capital Financial Advisers and WestStar Bank.
Smoky Glass Torgerson, an active NMSU alumna and member of the Foundation Board of Directors, said she was moved to sponsor the event on behalf of her family this year because she had such a positive experience when she attended the conference herself in 2013.
“I thought I had some knowledge of estate and financial planning,” Torgerson said. “I quickly became of aware of just how much I did not know, and just how dangerous it was to make estate planning decisions using inaccurate or incomplete information.”
She noted that many times, the family dynamic doesn’t place estate planning in the hands of women, but that can suddenly change, leaving women to seek trustworthy resources to help them make good, informed decisions.
“There is a need to know, and this conference really takes away the fear of the unknown,” Torgerson said. “We need to be active participants in our own estate planning, and this thoughtfully designed conference provides layers of information and experts carefully integrated to provide as much knowledge as possible in this short time period.”
NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney said the conference is a way for the university to give back to the community by providing a service that benefits women and their families. Over the conference’s 10-year history, it has brought in 120 volunteer speakers to share their knowledge and helped 380 women take an active role in their financial planning.
“Everyone needs a plan for their estate, regardless of their financial situation, but many women find the whole process intimidating or unnecessary,” Tawney said. “We’re hoping to demystify the planning process and empower more women to think about how to ensure their legacy and take care of their families.”
Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU