There can be a lot of unfounded fears that surround Estate Planning. One that comes up sometimes is that “if you plan for it, then it will happen.”
I can assure you that’s not the case. In fact, “failing to plan is planning to fail” is a much better mantra when it comes to this type of thing.
There are many of these types of myths. Here are several more reasons from Caring.com about why people don’t have an Estate Plan:
- 74% of American adults believe that Estate Planning is a confusing topic. (WealthCounsel)
- 36% say they “haven't gotten around to it.”
- 30% say they "don't have enough assets to leave.”
- 7% say they believe “it's too expensive.”
- 6% say they “don't know how to write a Will.”
Remember, 77% of Americans believe Estate Planning is important, regardless of wealth. They are just busy with day-to-day life and haven’t taken the time to think about their future.
Don’t let simple negligence impact your loved ones! Break the generational failures and set an example of planning for the future health and wealth of your family.
Estate Planning doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can create the initial components right away and add on as you accumulate more assets.
- 77% of American believe Estate Planning is important, regardless of wealth (Edward Jones)
- 74% of working age people globally plan to leave an inheritance (HSBC)
- An Age Wave/Merrill study found that:
- 8% plan to give everything away while they're alive.
- 27% plan to give everything away after they pass away.
- 65% of Americans over 55 plan to give away some of their money while they're alive.
In general, most people start planning for the future as they age and accumulate knowledge and wealth.
A Gallup survey conducted in 2016 shows how many people have a Will by age range:
- 14% of Americans (18 and 29)
- 35% of Americans (30 and 49)
- 56% of Americans (50 and 64)
- 68% of Americans (+65)
That same Gallup survey also shows the number of people who have a Will based on their level of education:
- 61% have a postgraduate degree
- 50% have a college degree
- 47% have some college
- 32% have a high school education or less
This Gallup survey also shows those who have a Will based on household income:
- 55% making more than $75,000
- 38% making between $30,000 and $74,999
- 31% making less than $30,000
This is ultimately based on you and what you value. However, there are several reasons why people create Estate Plans in general.
Here are some examples from an Age Wave/Merrill study:
- To be a good parent & spouse
71% of American adults say that having an estate plan would make them feel like a good spouse or parent.
- To be responsible & considerate
52% of Americans over 55 believe passing away without an estate plan or other end-of-life plan would be “irresponsible." Meanwhile, 22% say it would be “inconsiderate," and 14% say it would be “ignorant."
- Because it’s the right thing to do
47% of Americans over 55 leave an inheritance because they believe it's the right thing to do.
- To cover costs
42% do so to cover their funeral and end-of-life expenses.
- Because it’s the parent’s duty
39% of men and 30% of women over 55 in America believe it's the duty of parents to leave their children an inheritance.
- To provide security
38% do so to give their family a sense of security.
- To avoid drama
35% of American adults say they have personally experienced family conflict or know someone who has experienced family conflict as a result of not having an estate plan or will in place. (WealthCounsel)
- To get peace of mind
32% do so to give themselves the peace of mind knowing that their family is taken care of.
- To leave a memory
23% do so to give their family something to remember them by.
Here are a few more reasons people talk about:
- To ease the burden
This was often cited as one of the top benefits of estate planning and other end-of-life planning. (Age Wave/Merrill)
- To avoid probate
- The probate process can cost up to 10% of an estate. Detailed Estate Plans can reduce the likelihood of a long, expensive probate process. (LegalZoom)
It can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year (or even years) to probate a will. Estate Planning can prevent this. (LegalZoom)