When someone passes away, their estate plan helps to distribute their assets. An estate plan can also be used to make decisions for the future. For example, an advance directive could give medical directions in case someone is incapacitated.
You can see how this can be beneficial for everyone at some point in their life. However, studies have found that around 67% of people in the United States don’t have an estate plan. Why is this?
Lack of assets
Roughly 1/3 of those in one study claimed they just didn’t have enough assets. They didn’t think it was necessary to make a plan because they wouldn’t really be passing much on to their heirs. But you can still make an estate plan even if you’re not excessively wealthy, and it’s also important to remember that estate planning is about far more than just assets.
Unsure where to start
A little more than one out of 10 people said they just didn’t know how to begin the process. They didn’t know how to make a will or estate plan. They didn’t know how to file the documents. It could be that a lot of people simply need to know where to begin in order to get the right plan in place.
They are going to do it later
That said, the most common answer was just that people hadn’t gotten around to making their estate plan as of yet. They were going to do it later, but they were just waiting until they were older.
But you don’t have to wait until you retire to make your estate plan. You can certainly make it in advance and then update it if life changes. Be sure you know exactly what steps to take at this time.