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Highland Lakes women’s estate-planning event provides information that benefits everyone

MARBLE FALLS — Though the Women’s Estate Planning Seminar was designed to help women of all ages know their rights regarding wills, trust funds and other financial items, the advice the seven panelists presented can be used by anyone.

The panelists were attorneys Casey Burns, Robert Glanville, Neal Kennedy and Rob Robertson, certified financial planners Burl Harper, Nathan Robnett and Mitch Rivers, and ministers Pet Christy and Jon Weems. About 50 women attended the seminar Jan. 5.

Why was it designed for women?

“I realized, for myself, that most women outlive their husbands, and we don’t have a clue,” organizer Peyton Wolcott said. “For whatever reason, oftentimes our husbands do all the planning.”

The panelists’ advice included:

• It’s never too early to plan. No matter the age or how long a couple has been together, outlining goals and wishes is vital, especially if one of the spouses has a life-changing injury or dies.

• After every life-changing event, such as a new member of the family, update wills, trusts and other legal documents. Make it a point to review documents annually, regardless of if changes in the family have occurred.

• Take the time to learn about the family’s investments, the steps on investing and why from your spouse.

• It’s better to over-plan, so recognizing other factors such as living wills and powers of attorney can make decisions easier on loved ones.

• Make plans for long-term care.

• Hire a team that understands how laws have changed and tell them what your wishes are so a legal document can be created

• But above all, don’t procrastinate.

Wolcott said the comments she received were positive and several requested another seminar.

“For a first-time event, we appear to have struck a positive chord,” she said.