Study Shows Fewer People Have Wills Today

Have you skipped out on creating a will? What about a power of attorney or a living trust? 

You might assume you don’t need these documents, but as anyone who has dealt with an incapacitated or deceased loved one can tell you, the failure to have these documents in place can be devastating to your emotional wellbeing during this stressful time.  

Do Most Americans Have Critical Estate Planning Documents?

There have always been high numbers reported in the annual survey about how many people have critical estate planning documents, such as a will. In the last 3 years, however, there’s been a 25% decrease in the number of middle-aged Americans who have the most basic of estate planning tools in place: their last will and testament.

fewer people have wills today

More than 2,400 Americans were included in this most recent iteration of the study. The purpose of the study is to understand which particular groups are more likely to have estate planning documents than others, and a few of the reasons why some people choose not to craft a will. In 2017, more than 40% of respondents in the whole survey reported that they had a will or a document like it. In 2020, however, that number had dropped to 32%.

The study also found that people at higher income levels have decreased in terms of which portion of that population hasn’t had a will. In 2019, more than 60% of respondents who made more than $75,000 a year had a will in place, but that same estate planning document is only present for 45% of Americans in the same income bracket today.

Why is Having a Will Important?

Having a will is the cornerstone of your estate plan and is an extremely important component of being able to protect your loved ones once you’re no longer around to give directions about what you want to happen.

Schedule a consultation today with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Maryland and D.C. to learn more about how a will is just one of multiple components that can protect your future.

Contact a Washington D.C. Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Ready to begin your estate plan? Rely on attorney Clifford M. Cohen, who has more than 35 years of experience, to provide thorough and insightful guidance through this complex process in Washington D.C. and Maryland. Call (202) 895-2799 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.