You are certainly not on your own if you don’t have a will or any other documents for your estate plan. Studies have found that most people in the United States do not have a plan in place. It is more common for older individuals to have an estate plan, but even a lot of people who are relatively close to retirement age haven’t actually done any planning yet.
That’s not to say it’s a good thing just because you have a lot of company. Failing to create an estate plan can cause a lot of issues for your family, it can lead to disputes, it could cause confusion over what should happen with your assets and it could mean that you have to pay more in taxes than you should – just to name a few examples.
Why don’t people have a plan?
If having a plan in place can prevent all these problems, why don’t people have one? Sometimes, they feel awkward thinking about the end of their own lives, or they feel intimidated by the estate planning process. Some people may also assume they don’t have enough money for their estate plan to really matter.
But the biggest reason that people give for their lack of a plan is simply that they’re putting it off and they are going to do it at a later date. They’re procrastinating. They are fully aware that they need a plan and it’s on their list of things to do, but they may assume that they can do it in five or ten years, rather than doing it today.
That is a major risk, though, and you can never quite be sure when you will need your estate plan. That’s why it’s important to look into your legal options to create such a plan in advance.