Why most people don’t have an estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2020 | Estate Planning |

One of the curious realities in the United States is that even though everyone will eventually pass away and leave their assets behind, most people have no plan at all for how that will happen. The majority neglect to do any estate planning.

In fact, by some accounts, it’s only getting worse. When asked if they had a will, only 32% said that they did in 2020. Over the last few years, from 2017, that’s a 25% drop. It was at 42% in 2017 and at 40% in 2019. The drop in 2020 is massive.

Why is this happening? After all, about 60% of those asked admitted that estate planning was important. Yet the statistics still show that they just don’t do it. Some of the top reasons include:

  • They do not think their asset levels require a plan
  • They don’t have the knowledge and education necessary to make the plan
  • They think it is going to cost too much to make an estate plan
  • They just haven’t done it yet, failing to “get around to it’ even though they intend to do it eventually

Some of these reasons may also be related. For instance, someone who hasn’t gotten around to it may feel like they don’t have enough assets to make it worth it, but they plan to do it when they’re older and have more to leave behind.

Regardless of the reasons, it is very risky for people to neglect their estate planning. They need to know what options they have and how to get started so that things can go smoothly for their families.