Why Don’t Most Americans Have an Estate Plan?

Just 34% of adult Americans have an estate plan at the ready.
Why Don’t Most Americans Have an Estate Plan?

Just one third of adults in the U.S. have an estate plan, according to a survey released recently by D.A. Davidson & Co.

Investment News’ recent article entitled “Procrastinating Americans putting off estate plans, says D.A. Davidson survey” says that 37% of respondents said they didn’t have an estate plan at the ready because they felt they didn’t have a large enough estate—or enough assets—to warrant making one. Procrastination came in second place, with 32% of those surveyed saying they simply “haven’t gotten around to it.”

The survey also showed that 20% of respondents who actually created estate plans haven’t updated them in the last five years.

Consulting an experienced estate planning attorney has a positive effect when it comes to creating an estate plan. The survey said that the number of those having a plan jumped from 18% to 56%, if they worked with a professional at some point in their preparation. It also showed that those who have worked with a professional also feel more confident and prepared when discussing their estate plan and end-of-life wishes than those who have never worked with one.

As for gender differences: 72% of the women surveyed didn’t have an estate plan compared to 59% of men. This spread should continue to narrow as the wage gap between male and females slowly closes.

A married couple will typically pass their full estate to the surviving spouse. Statistics show that the surviving spouse is more than likely a woman, and she will then need to pass her remaining estate to the next generation. That can be complicated, with things like family dynamics playing a major part.

A well-drafted estate plan can manage your assets and affairs to your satisfaction. All American adults should seek to begin their estate planning sooner rather than later. Talk with your estate planning attorney in Davie, Florida to get help with the process.

Reference: Investment News (Oct. 11, 2022) “Procrastinating Americans putting off estate plans, says D.A. Davidson survey”

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