Most people know they should make a will, but many don’t know what a will is and how it works. A will, sometimes called a “last will and testament,” is a document which states your final wishes. A county court examines your will after your death to ensure your final wishes are carried out.
According to a January 2017 survey by Caring.com, only 42% of U.S. adults have a will or estate planning documents. When broken down by age, 81% of the 72 and older group have these important documents. 60% in the 53 to 71-year-old age group, 36% for the Generation X group (ages 37 to 52), and only 22% of millennials (ages 18-36) have a will or estate planning documents. The significant …
decline is attributed to the misconception that a will isn’t necessary until later in life. At any age, you need to make a will.
If you have a will, it should be reviewed and updated. The will you created 10 years ago may not reflect what you want to happen after your passing. If your current will was created in one state, but you now reside in another state, problems could arise depending on the laws of your resident state. A life changing event such as getting married or divorced, purchasing real estate, or starting a business are reasons for a review and update of your will.
According to the survey, the following reasons were given as to why a will or living trust is missing in estate planning:
- I haven’t gotten around to it – 47%
- I don’t have enough assets to leave anyone – 29%
- I don’t have anyone to receive my assets – 7%
- Too expensive – 4%
- I don’t know how to get one – 4%
- Other – 9%
Have you made a will? Do you know what information you want to include in your will such as personal property, real estate holdings, pets? You can begin by using the ‘Lifetime Legacy Planner’ to document your possessions so this information is readily available for creating or updating your will. The information you record in the Legal chapter will provide your loved ones peace of mind and aid in a timely settlement of your estate. Details regarding the location of your original will, trusts, and durable power of attorney for property (finances) and health care are documented here, along with contact information for your attorney and executor.