Do you have a will? If you answered no, you are not alone. A recent FindLaw.com survey found that only one in three Americans have a will. Although only 35% of those surveyed had a will, that number shifted when it came to the age of the individual surveyed. For example, 75% of individuals over the age of 65 had a will. But not surprisingly, the lower the age, the less likely an individual is to have any type of estate plan in place.
“By not having a will you are essentially giving up any control or say into how your estate and your affairs will be handled after you are gone. Writing a will is sometimes difficult and uncomfortable thing for people to do. But with an attorney's help, it can be a fairly simple and fast process. And it gives people control over their assets and the future of their family, and the peace of mind that comes along with that,” said attorney and FindLaw.com editor Stephanie Rahlfs.
Putting an estate plan in place may be uncomfortable, but it is a necessary precaution that allows you, and not the state you live, to in to dictate how your assets are distributed upon your death.
Many people may not realize just how expansive a will can be--much more that just distributing your assets, wills can determine things like appointing a guardian for your children and even making plans for your beloved pets.
At FindLaw.com, we know that putting together an estate plan may not be something you want to think about just yet. But it should be. We have tons of free estate planning information on everything from basic wills, to complex trusts as, well as a directory of attorneys near you that can help put together a plan that reflects your wishes.
-- Michelle Croteau, Director, Marketing Communications
with Laura Strachan, FindLaw Audience Team