Do you have a Will?

by jolyn on May 7, 2011

in Planning

A survey popped up on my USAA accounts when I logged in this morning:

What percent of Americans do not have a will or estate plan?

  1. 92%
  2. 57%
  3. 44%
  4. 22%

What say you?

I did guess the correct answer, which was a whopping…

*****

*****

Over half of Americans!

The results are even more astonishing when broken down into age brackets:

  • 92% of adults ages 18-35 do not have a Will!
  • 44% of baby boomers ages 45-64 do not have a Will!

That is astonishing. And a bit frightening when you consider how many have children involved who would be at the mercy of the State (and its schedule) and close relatives if something were to happen to both parents, or even just one parent if the other’s out of the picture.

Military families have no financial excuse to not have a will, since Legal on base will provide us (a basic) one for free. We got our first one right before our first son was born. Even so, it took a deployment many years later to motivate us to update the one we had, several years after the recommended five-year mark, and more than a couple years after a couple more kids were added to the mix.

And more “Even So” — we have not given a copy of that Will to those whom we designated as our beneficiaries! Just an oversight, to be sure. Because really — who wants to talk about who you want to raise your kids in the event that you can’t be around? Not something you really want to bring up. But I’m determined to remedy that, soon.

A Will doesn’t do us much good if we’re dead: it needs to be in the hands of those who then have to deal with picking up the pieces in the immediate aftermath of what would, certainly, be a horrible tragedy. Who is that for you? Do they know what your wishes are? Do they have them in writing? Do you even have a Will? What’s stopping you?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula @ AffordAnything.org May 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I wonder if these statistics apply to all estate planning, or just a will. I tend to prefer setting up a trust, rather than having a will, since trusts prevent your assets from going through probate.

[Reply]

Evan May 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I think the scary part is that people don’t actually know what happens when they die (i.e. intestacy laws of their state)

[Reply]

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey May 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

This isn’t too surprising to me. I know that none of my friends have a will. I just put mine together last Fall, and got a lot of strange looks from them during conversations of telling them what I was doing.

[Reply]

jolyn Reply:

I can’t say I’m surprised, considering your age group, mid-20′s — unless it’s that you do have a Will! Then again, you’re blogging about personal finance, so I suppose it shouldn’t be so surprising… ;)

[Reply]

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: