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A significant percentage of Americans do not have an estate plan

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Firm News

Estate planning is an integral part of being prepared for the future. In New York, where many people have substantial assets and a family to take care of, it is crucial to make sure to understand the value of these documents. Still, a significant number of Americans do not have any kind of estate plan.

While it can be uncomfortable to think about what many hope will be something that happens well into the future, it does not diminish its importance. Knowing the pitfalls that can come about by not having an estate plan and the negative impact it can have might be enough of a catalyst to take the necessary initiative and move forward.

Study shows how many Americans do not have an estate plan

According to a recent study by FreeWill, more than one-quarter of Americans do not have any type of estate plan. The study was done by OnePoll and consisted of 2,000 participants. Interestingly, those who have professional advice for their financial life were far more likely to have an estate plan with 65% doing so. Those who have professional advice and have not yet crafted an estate plan stated they are going to create one within two years.

Half of those who said they had an estate plan in place had over a half-million dollars of assets. Gender also played a role. One in three of those identifying as male said they had an estate plan. For females, it was just under one in four.

Finances and how they are currently allocating their money also was a factor. Over half who had children who were at least 21 had given money to their kids. Around the same percentage said they expected their children to come to them to ask for financial help with a major purchase. The trend of parents providing their assets to children while they are still alive when they would otherwise be left to children after death is a relatively new phenomenon. Even with that, it does not replace estate planning as a necessary strategy.

Having an estate plan is part of an overall blueprint for the future

Demographically, younger people tend to ignore the need for an estate plan, but it is something that is growing increasingly common for people of all ages. Often, they think it can wait. That is a mistake. Once they sit down and look at their situation, there are many factors they want to prepare for and proper estate planning is a valuable way to do it. Knowing the options and how to suit the specific needs is a wise first step.