Recent Declines in Estate Planning

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Estate Planning |

An increasing number of Americans are disregarding estate planning, a practice pivotal for ensuring the management of one’s affairs in the event of incapacitation and death.

Despite the importance of planning for the unexpected, recent reports indicate a decline in the proportion of individuals preparing estate plans. According to a survey conducted by, which polled more than 2,400 respondents, just under one-third of adults in the U.S. claimed to have a will. As life has gradually resumed normalcy since 2020, it appears that many people are no longer prioritizing a comprehensive estate plan.

The study found that demographic disparities exist along lines of age, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Nonetheless, the research concluded that the absence of a will poses a significant risk for all individuals, especially those with dependents or substantial assets.

Estate planning professionals emphasize the importance of recognizing not only the tangible benefits a will provides but also the potential consequences of neglecting one. Dying intestate—without a will—leaves an individual’s estate subject to state laws, potentially leading to outcomes inconsistent with their wishes.

It is essential to understand that a will is just one component of a comprehensive estate plan. A meticulously crafted plan can oversee asset distribution, designate a trusted individual to manage affairs in case of incapacity, outline medical preferences, and more. Contrary to common belief, exploring estate planning strategies is not as daunting as it may seem, and taking proactive steps is prudent to avoid the risks and complications of lacking an estate plan.