Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Girl with her Head in the Sand

Imagine this. 
You meet the love of your life and spend 30 blissful years together. He's a writer and has a few novels tucked in his desk drawer; he jokes that one day they’ll pay for your dream home in the country.
You are partners in every sense of the word, with a shared language and often research his books together. But you never get round to marrying.
Then at the age of just 50 he drops down dead. Suddenly his (previously estranged) family appear to claim their entitlement to half of the apartment in which you live. When your lover’s books are published posthumously, earning millions, it’s his family who are the legal heirs to the fortune. You don’t even figure in the picture.
This is what happened to Eva Gabrielsson the woman who was the life partner of Stieg Larsson, author of books including The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and a global sensation. Eva is currently fighting a legal battle for control of Larsson’s literary estate and campaigning for a change in Swedish law.*
Although Eva describes herself as a feminist, like many women she left the financial affairs to her partner. Sadly Stieg didn’t set up a company to manage their joint assets, as he’d promised. And Eva didn’t find that out until it was too late.
Eva wasn’t unusual in failing to secure her own financial future and being a bit ignorant about their joint finances and her rights.  
In fact, as many as nine out of ten women in relationships prefer the ostrich position and don’t get involved in financial planning.

Yet women have a 70% chance of becoming solely responsible for their own financial well-being
 (through divorce, death of partner etc.)

Is this you?
  • Are you ignorant about your joint finances?
  • Do you just assume ‘things will be taken care of’ in the event of death or disaster?
  • If you are an unmarried co-habitee, do you know what your inheritance rights are?
  • If you got divorced (in most divorces women come off worse than men) how would you manage? And do you know what pension rights would be?
  • Are you spending your money on your children instead of on your own future? (we’ve heard of women cashing in their pensions to help their off-spring to buy a home). 
  • Is it time to do something different and put yourself first?

We hope you never have to wait for disaster to strike before the state of your finances is revealed as inadequate. 

In Sheconomics we give lots of tips on how to innoculate your finances against future adversity. 
Best to do it now -  then you can get on with enjoying your life!

*Eva has written a book about her campaign: Stieg and me: Memories of my life with Stieg Larsson (Orion £12.99).

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