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Helping People Age with Dignity

How common is not having an estate plan?

What happens after a person dies can have major impacts on their friends, family and legacy. Despite this, many Americans continue to put off making any formal plans for controlling what will happen with things such as their assets after they pass away.

This is underscored by a recent survey. In the survey, 1,000 Americans were asked about what they had done so far when it comes to estate planning. Well over half of the respondents, 58 percent, said that they had neither a will nor a living trust.

Now, the rates of not having such estate planning documents were not even across age groups.

Younger individuals tended to have a lower likelihood of having such documents. Of the survey respondents who were millennials, over three-fourths (78 percent), reported not having a living trust or will.

Meanwhile, the higher likelihoods of having estate plans were located among the elderly age groups. For example, the portion of the surveyed individuals ages 72 and up who indicated they didn’t have a will or living trust was less than 20 percent. One thing that this illustrates though is that even among the age groups that have higher rates of estate planning, there are still a fair number of individuals who have opted to not yet have a detailed estate plan.

While estate planning likelihood varies among age groups, estate planning can have significant value for adults of any age. There is no age in which a person is immune to being hit by a deadly accident or condition. So, it really can never be too early for an adult to plan for what they want to have happen when death comes to them. Expressing their wishes and desires in things like a will or living trust can help a person ensure these wishes and desires are at the helm when it comes to what happens with their estate when they die.

Another thing it can be important for adults of all ages to remember is that estate planning generally isn’t just a one-time thing, but an ongoing process. Regularly updating an estate plan to reflect changes in circumstances and goals can be critical in having a well-tailored estate plan.

Skilled attorneys can help adults here in Massachusetts, young or old, with forming or making updates to an estate plan.

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