For years now, experts have been warning that most Americans do not have a will. Even though most of them say that a will is important when asked, they don’t actually write one.
Has the exposure of this information helped people realize just how important estate planning is? It does not appear that way. According to a study done in 2019, most Americans still have no estate plan. The total came in at 57%. And that considers all estate planning documents, like living trusts and wills.
The study also backed up the older information about how people do know that a will is important. Seventy-six percent of people claimed it was. Even that wasn’t enough to get many of them to write a will, though.
The reasons that people give for why they have not done their estate planning do vary a bit. Many just feel like it’s something they can do later; older individuals do have wills more often than young people. Others don’t know where to begin.
You can also break down groups of people to see who is more and less likely to have an estate plan. For instance, 56% of those with a post-graduate college degree do have a will. Those who have taken some college classes clock in at 39%. However, those with just a high school degree — or without any degree at all — report having a will at only 28%.
It does not matter where you fall on this spectrum, either in terms of age or education. If you do not have an estate plan yet, you’re definitely not alone, but that just shows how important it is to look into all of your options.