Every year, Caring.com conducts research to get a feel for the estate planning preparedness of American adults. This year’s results have been released, and as usual, they are disappointing.
Two out of three people are totally unprepared for something that will definitely happen to all of us. As you might expect, well under 30 percent of younger adults between 18 and 54 have wills or trusts. More surprisingly, 55 percent of people that are 55 and older do not have plans in place.
Estate Planning for Young Adults
The researchers asked people that do not have plans why they have not acted, and a lot of the reasoning is flawed. One-third stated that they have very limited property, so it is not important, but this is not as logical as it may appear to be on the surface.
Let’s say that you and your spouse are in your 20s and you have a child. You do not have any savings, and you don’t own your home, so you decide that you don’t need an estate plan.
What would happen if both of you pass away together in an accident? Who would care for the child? Where would the money come from to provide for the youngster?
You should definitely have an estate plan in place if you are in this position. A guardian can be designated in a simple will, and you can carry life insurance to protect your family. Term life insurance is very inexpensive for people that are relatively young.
Children cannot handle their own money, so you have to designate someone to manage assets on behalf of your child. You can do this if you have a living trust with a trustee designated, and you can alternately use a testamentary trust, which is a trust within a will.
Other Reasons Given for Estate Planning Inaction
Forty percent of the respondents stated that they were simply procrastinating. Every day that you go without an estate plan, you are taking a risk. You never know what the future holds, and people of all ages pass away every day.
If you die before you get around to putting an estate plan in place, the condition of intestacy will exist. The court will step in to sort out the matter, and an estate administrator will be appointed to handle the affairs of the estate.
This will be a complicated process that can be contentious if all interested parties are not on the same page. In the end, people that you would never leave out could be disinherited.
Twelve percent did not have estate plans in place because they had no idea where to begin, and this is an odd one. The only people in this group that know how to perform root canals are the dentists. Yet, all of them know exactly where to begin if they have a toothache.
They are going to call a dentist, and the same thing applies to estate planning. A simple call to our office is all that it takes to set the wheels in motion.
There were some that didn’t act out of cost concerns. Our clients are usually pleasantly surprised when they learn about our rates, and there is another factor. A well-constructed estate plan can save your family money in the long run, so proper planning is a good investment.
Access Our Free Worksheet
We make a concerted effort to provide educational materials to members of our community. You will find a treasure trove of resources on this site, and you can access them at any time free of charge.
One of the most effective resources that we have developed is our estate planning worksheet. If you take a little bit of time to go through it, you will come away with a much more comprehensive understanding of the estate planning process.
To get your copy, click this link and follow the simple instructions.
Take Action Right Now!
If you are going through life without an estate plan, action is required sooner rather than later. You can schedule a consultation at our Cincinnati estate planning office if you call us at 513-721-1513, and you can use our contact form to send us a message.