When you do some research into the subject you find that a surprising number of Americans have done absolutely no estate planning at all. There was an article published in Forbes magazine last year that used statistics provided by a Harris interactive survey that delved into the topic. Of the 1022 people that were surveyed only 35% had a last will, and just 29% had signed a living will. You might expect young people to be remiss, but a surprising 23% of people over the age of 55 did not have a single estate planning document in place.
There are many reasons why people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, and one of them is the fact that they don’t know where to begin. This is understandable to some extent, but most people don’t know where to begin when their car doesn’t start either. What they do is seek out an expert who knows how to fix cars.
The same principle applies to estate planning. Of course the typical layperson is probably not going to have a comprehensive understanding of how to proceed. So the logical course of action is to retain the services of an estate planning attorney. He or she will evaluate the assets in question, listen as the client explains his or her objectives, and make the appropriate recommendations.
Estate planning is not something that only wealthy people have to concern themselves with, and it is also not exclusively reserved for senior citizens. People of ordinary means need to express their wishes and make plans for possible incapacity. And unfortunately, people of all ages pass away every day so estate planning is just as important for younger adults as it is older ones.
There is no way to candy coat it: If you are currently going through life without an estate plan, you are putting your family members at risk.