Research Reveals Nearly 25 Percent Decrease in the Number of Middle-Aged Americans With a Will
SAN DIEGO, CA — March 2nd, 2020 — Trust & Will, the most trusted online estate planning company, has partnered with Caring.com, a leading senior care referral service, as the estate planning experts for the 2020 Will Survey.
The latest study includes feedback from 2,400 Americans and was used to examine which groups are more likely to engage in estate planning as well as their underlying reasons for having or not having a will. The survey is an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the importance of estate planning, especially among those with limited knowledge and access to resources.
Results from the survey show a significant change, over a three-year period, in the number of older and middle-aged Americans with a will. In 2017, 42% of respondents reported that they had a will or similar document. However, the 2020 survey shows only 32% having one or more documents. This is almost a 25% decrease in the number of people with a will or living trust.
“The significant increase among Americans without a will, living trust or health directive should be alarming for any family,” says Patrick Hicks, Head of Legal at Trust & Will. “Estate planning not only helps to protect assets, but it’s an important process to ensure who will care for minor children or make decisions about your health if you become incapacitated.”
Additional findings from the study show that people with a higher income are more likely to have an estate planning document. Last year, 61% of people making $75,000 or more had a will. Yet, this year shows just 45% of Americans at that income level with an estate planning document.