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Are Americans getting better about making estate plans?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2020 | Estate Planning

For years now, experts have been warning that most Americans have no estate plan. This means no will, no advance medical directives, no powers of attorney and no written plan at all. They may know what they want to happen with their estate — “Just give my money to my kids” — but they haven’t taken any legal steps to make it happen. 

Reports from 2017 showed that a mere 42% of people had a plan already made. The others did not. While you’d never expect to see it at 100%, seeing it under 50% is concerning. Since the alarm was raised, though, have more people been making these plans? Are the numbers trending up? 

They are not. The same survey was given out again in 2020, and it discovered that the number of people with a plan had fallen by about 25%, dropping down to a total of 32%. That means that only one out of every three people has an estate plan. Despite these warnings and news reports, it’s just getting less and less common. 

Plus, it only took three years for that type of drop. What will the next three years hold? Are we seeing a trend that is going to push it down under 25% in the coming years? And, if that happens, what is it going to mean when people begin to pass away without estate plans and the courts get tied up trying to sort everything out? 

Estate planning is critical, but you may not have done it yet. It can help to work with an experienced legal team to get everything in place. An estate plan isn’t just a gift to your heirs — it’s part of securing your future, as well.