The number of adults who have an estate plan in place has fallen over the past few years. This is shocking because adults who pass away still need to leave instructions about what they want to happen with their assets when they pass away, and they still need to leave directions and information about their wishes for what they want if they become incapacitated.
In 2017, 42% of adults reported that they had a will. That dropped to 40% in 2019 and down to 32% in 2020. The decline is prevalent in people in all age groups.
- 18 to 34 years old: 18% in 2019 to 16.4% in 2020
- 35 to 54 years old: 37% in 2019 to 27.2% in 2020
- 55 years old and older: 60% in 2019 to 47.9% in 2020
The reasons for the decline are that people don’t know how to get these documents or they think that they can’t afford them. Still, the protections that a comprehensive estate plan provides for your family is worth the effort to get things in order.
If you don’t take the time to get your estate plan set up, you’ll die intestate. This means that the distribution of your assets is handled according to the hierarchy set by state law and your wishes won’t play any role in this.
Your attorney can help you set up a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes. The plan can also include your living will, trusts and power of attorney designations that can make it easier for your family if you become incapacitated prior to your passing.