Five Estate Planning Statistics That Indicate the Deep Need for Will Services in Pasadena and Elsewhere
Unfortunately, many people consider drafting a will or establishing a similarly useful document like a revocable living trust to be an optional task, or at least one that can be delayed indefinitely. When you wait to plan your future and your legacy, however, there’s no back-up plan for your family and no way for you to fix any problems that result from your lack of planning.
Wills and other estate planning documents, like powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, and HIPAA authorizations, are not just for the elderly or the infirm. People of all ages should take steps now to avoid the negative consequences of failing to plan for their future, consequences which will fall on your loved ones and family.
The following estate planning statistics show just how ill-prepared many Americans are in this realm:
- 51% of Americans between 55 and 64 years old don’t have a will. While middle aged Americans don’t have a particularly high rate of mortality, our bodies become more vulnerable to infection and disease as we age, and we can’t predict when and how accidents might affect us. Hardly a week goes by without the news of some high-profile celebrity in this age range dying, often without warning. If it can happen to them, it can happen to any of us.
- 62% of men and 67% of women between 45 and 54 years old haven’t created a will. People in this age range often are caught in what’s known as the Sandwich Generation. They’re taking care of young children and elderly parents simultaneously. But they also need to take care of themselves and their legacy. If your estate goes to probate, a public, costly process might follow, and there’s no guarantee that a judge would consider your wishes.
- 92% of American adults under 35 have never drafted a will. Those under the age of 35 are less likely than their elders to die of disease or natural causes, but they may be just as prone to accidents and other sudden deaths. Furthermore, many people have children by the time they reach 35, meaning they will be leaving dependents if they die young.
- People often imagine that will services are difficult, and this fear of contemplating what the process entails perhaps explains why so few young adults complete it. One survey found that 32% of respondents said they would prefer to get a root canal or give up sex for a month than plan a will.
- Many statistics reveal common myths about inheritance. For instance, 13% of people in the U.S. assume their spouses or children will automatically receive their assets after they die. That’s not the case, necessarily! This misconception leads to tangible, if predictable, heartache. When you fail to plan, creditors and taxing agencies may extract substantial value from the estate, leaving your family and loved ones with less.
Why Don’t People Plan for Will Services?
Considering how much agony a person can spare his or her family, why don’t people make estate planning or will services a priority? One survey suggested the following reasons:
- 57% admitted that planning was not a priority.
- 17% assumed they don’t have enough assets to justify the expense of creating a will or living trust.
- 14% didn’t want to think about dying.
It’s hard to think about the world continuing without us, but we need to protect our families, friends and charities we support. Make will planning a priority; the process is simpler and less stressful than most people realize, and the peace of mind is priceless. Call our experienced Pasadena will services attorneys to learn more about how to get the job done.