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How to Get Started on an Estate Plan

CNBC’s recent article entitled “67% of Americans have no estate plan, survey finds. Here’s how to get started on one” reports that just a third of Americans have put an estate plan in place, according to a new survey from senior living referral service Caring.com.

That means that 67% are leaving what happens to them and their assets in case of disability or death up to others, including the state.

What is the biggest reason why they don’t have an estate plan? They just have not gotten around to it, according to 40% of survey respondents.

Meanwhile, 33% say they do not have enough assets to pass on to their loved ones, 13% said the estate-planning process is too costly. A total of  12% said they do not know how to get a will.

Those who have had a serious case of COVID-19 are 66% more likely to engage in estate planning compared to those who have not, according to Caring.com. About 41% of those ages 18 to 34 now see greater need for a will or other estate-planning documents following the onset of the pandemic.

Of course, there’s room for improvement, said Jim Rosenthal, CEO of Caring.com, noting only 48% of people who had a severe case of Covid have a plan in place.

“Even with the big scare of potential impending death, people still don’t run out and take care of what’s not that challenging to take care of,” Rosenthal said.

You should know that you do not need to have a lot of assets to decide where you want the assets you do have to go when you die, or to stipulate your preferences for your end-of-life or other care should you become incapacitated.

The first step is to become as educated as you can and consider consulting an experienced estate planning attorney.

Reference: CNBC (April 11, 2022) “67% of Americans have no estate plan, survey finds. Here’s how to get started on one”