Estate planning urgency is lacking for two-thirds of Americans

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2022 | Estate Planning

The past two years have been difficult for Maryland residents and people across the United States. While there were vast challenges and people needed to adapt professionally, personally and financially, there was one area where recent events did not yield a marked change in behavior: creating an estate plan. Despite knowing how quickly things can change and the importance of being fully prepared to take care of family should illness or tragedy strike, a recent survey showed that an overwhelming percentage of people do not have even a simple estate plan. Those who have yet to take that step should understand its value and importance.

Caring.com survey says two of three Americans do not have an estate plan

In a survey, the website Caring.com asked people if they have prepared an estate plan. Approximately one-third said they did; two-thirds said they did not. The problem with this is that a person who fails to create a will, a trust or uses another option will die intestate and their property will be subject to the laws of the state instead of their wishes. Respondents presented many reasons as to why. The most common was people saying they did not get around to it with 40% giving some form of this response.

One-third stated they did not believe their assets warranted an estate plan. Thirteen percent believed creating an estate plan is too expensive; 12% did not understand the process. Two-thirds of people who became ill over the past two years during the national crisis were likelier to move forward with estate planning than people who did not have that issue. As for age ranges, people between 18 and 34 came in at 41% when they discussed how important they felt a will was. Almost half of those surveyed who stated they became ill have an estate plan.

Misunderstanding facts about estate planning leads to mistakes and avoidance

The reasons people gave for failing to have an estate plan are generally misguided. This makes it vital to have professional advice with these matters. For example, it might not be as costly as people think. The process can be explained in a way that people understand and they need not worry about it being too complex. Finally, when looking at how much property a person has accrued, they frequently underestimate how much they have and its value. It could be worth far more than they think and that could cause problems for heirs if they do not have even a basic plan. With these facts, it is useful to have assistance with deciding how to proceed. Talking to those who understand all areas of estate planning can be helpful.

 

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