How Many Americans Have an Estate Plan?

We all know we need one, but how many of us follow through? Not enough, that’s for sure.

Estate planning is one of procrastination’s favorite victims. Americans continue to neglect their end-of-life preparations, despite growing awareness of how unwise that can be. Sickness and death aren’t the most pleasant topics under the sun, after all. When the number of “tomorrows” seems unlimited, it’s easy to put off the unpleasant for the future.

But just how widespread is the procrastination problem? A new survey from Caring.com assigns some numbers to the situation:

  • 44% of American parents have neither a will nor a trust.
  • 52% of adult children have no idea where their parents keep their estate documents.
  • 58% of adult children aren’t even sure what their parents’ plans are.
  • The majority of children say that it’s been years since their parents updated their wills or that they don’t know when the last update might have been.

Interestingly, the survey also looked at how preparations break down along demographic lines. Some of the more interesting observations include:

  • Women are more likely than men to know what their parents’ plans are.
  • Men are more likely, however, to know where documents are located.
  • Republican parents are more likely than Democrats or Independents to have a will or a living trust.
  • The younger generation is generally better informed about their families’ estate plans than their elders.

…Take from those findings what you will! The more important takeaway here, though, is that there are simply too many people who haven’t given estate planning the serious consideration it demands — either for themselves or for their parents.

Life can change in the blink of an eye. When that happens, you’ll be glad that you have preparations in place — or that you know the details and whereabouts of your family’s most important documents and affairs.

Here at Medina Law Group, we’re encouraging anyone who might fall within the percentages above to join a new group! Even if you’re part of a majority, you can take proactive steps now to spare yourself from real headaches in the future.

Don’t make the mistakes of the majority! Give us a call to find out how you can start strategically protecting your family today.