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Why don’t most people have an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Estate Planning

For most people, an estate plan is something that they need, but that they haven’t created yet. There are also those who mistakenly believe that they do not need an estate plan at all. This combination means that the majority of adults in the United States do not have an estate plan, as only about 1/3 actually do.

Why is this? Let’s look at a few of the top reasons and why these excuses do not hold up.

They think that they don’t have enough assets

As noted, some people don’t think they need an estate plan at all, and one of the main reasons they think this is that they don’t believe they have the assets required. If they were a multi-millionaire, they would have an estate plan, but that’s simply not their financial situation. Those thinking this way would be wise to remember that estate disputes often involve sentimental items. Additionally, even when passing along a smaller amount of assets, things go more smoothly if the heirs know what someone intended for their property.

They haven’t gotten around to it

The top reason that people give for not making an estate plan is procrastination. They haven’t started planning yet, even though they intend to at some point. Oftentimes, this procrastination revolves around the fact that people assume they still have a long time to live, so they want to make their plan later. They feel safe putting it off, even in their 50s or 60s. But that is quite a gamble to make when both life and death are so unpredictable.

They’re unsure of how to get started

Finally, some of those who don’t have an estate plan just don’t know where to get started. Maybe they think it’s too expensive. Maybe they think it’s too confusing. Maybe they are just unsure which documents they need. They understand the necessity of crafting an estate plan, but the process is so complex that they have put off figuring out what is required of them.

Getting started

If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to carefully consider your legal options. Creating an estate plan in advance can help your family, and it may not be as complex or costly as you’re assuming. By seeking legal guidance, you can benefit from personalized feedback that will help you to make informed decisions about the options that are available to you.