Most people don’t have an estate plan. It’s time to fix that
Did you know that the majority of Americans do not have an estate plan? Despite the fact that everyone will someday need to use such a plan and pass assets to their heirs, most people have not even taken the basic steps to create their personal plan.
You may think that children and other young people skew these statistics, but they don’t. Even when you look only at adults — people who you would logically expect to have an estate plan — only about 40% of them have a will.
Why do so many people fail to get their estate plans together?
It makes sense that almost all adults should have at least a basic will, and many would benefit from more complex estate plans involving trusts, advance directives, powers of attorney and the like. So why is it that most people don’t? A few common reasons include:
- People feel like they don’t have enough assets and so creating a plan isn’t all that important.
- People procrastinate and say that they do want to create a plan, but they’ll just do it later.
- People are simply not sure where to begin, even though they would like to do so.
- People are waiting until some major life event happens, such as reaching retirement age or having grandchildren, and then they will make an estate plan.
The problem here is that you never know when the estate plan will be needed. Putting it off is not wise — and it leaves your family in a tough situation if you pass away without one. It’s important to look into the legal steps needed to create an estate plan as soon as possible. It’s never too early to think ahead.