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MARBLE FALLS — Peyton Wolcott had seen it happen several times to friends of her mother, so in the end, she decided to do something about it.

“This is a way to make lemonades out of one of life’s lemons,” the Horseshoe Bay resident said. “I watched my mom’s friends — who were wives of some of Texas’ most successful businessmen — go from living comfortably to be basically poor when they became widows. What these women went through was so preventable.”

Wolcott said the problem wasn’t that their husbands didn’t adequately plan for their spouses but that the women found out the hard way not everybody who claims to “have their best interest at heart” does.

“Women have to have the foresight on who to trust and how much should they give control of their finances over to others,” Wolcott said.

Learning that information can be difficult. So Wolcott organized a free estate planning seminar for women Jan. 5 at the River City Grille, 700 First St. The event is 9-11 a.m.

“It’s not about what happens to your estate after you pass, but how to manage, protect and take care of it while you’re here,” she said. “It’s really about finding a positive way to protect themselves.”

Retired and elderly women face a lot of challenges when it comes to taking care of themselves and their finances. Wolcott said she’s heard too many stories about trustees, relatives and others taking advantage of these women.

The seminar includes many local professionals, including attorneys, financial specialists and clergy who will explain things such as trusts, power of attorney, testamentary capacities, wills and probate. Wolcott said attendees will learn what to be on the look out for from people who might be trying to gain too much control or influence over their affairs.

“This is really about helping women stay independent,” Wolcott said.

For more, call (512) 755-4173.