While the COVID-19 pandemic likely led many people to review their lives and gain new perspectives, it has only slightly influenced people who have estate planning needs. According to a recent survey, the pandemic boosted people’s desire to create a will (35% understood there was a greater need.). However, the number of people without a will remains unchanged from last year. Two-thirds of the survey respondents still do not have a will.
These were the findings of the annual survey conducted by North Carolina-based Caring.com, a senior care referral service. The company teamed with market research company YouGov of the UK in surveying 2,500 Americans to understand the number of people who have an estate plan, why they have one or why they do not have one.
Younger adults clearly heard the call
Among other key findings of Caring.com’s 2021 Wills and Estate Plan Study:
- For the first time, younger adults age 18 to 34 are more likely to possess a will than older adults aged 35 to 54.
- The number of young adults who have a will rose 63% since last year.
- Only 33% of the adults surveyed admitted to having a will.
- The main reasons respondents said they did have a will was because they: Haven’t gotten around to it (34.2%); Don’t have enough assets to leave anyone (28.1%); Don’t know how to get a will or living trust (7.6%); and It is too expensive to set up (5.6%).
If you are among the people who do not have an estate plan, it is never too late. Do some research, learn about how you can decide who gets your assets and name a guardian for your minor children. And do not forget to update your will every time a major life event surfaces. This may include marriage, birth of a child and divorce.
You can do this. It may take some guidance and patience, but you will be glad to have an estate plan in place.