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Study Shows Estate Planning is a Lower Priority for Older People

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Estate Planning

In Florida, estate planning is a key aspect of ensuring a person’s property is allocated the way they want and their loved ones are taken care of after they are gone. It can also address how a person wants to be treated and cared for if they are incapable of expressing their own wishes.

In the past, people 70 and above were the one age group that could be counted on to have a will or trust. Now, according to a recent study, that is no longer the case. Dying without a will or any other type of estate plan can cause many problems for family members left behind.

Fewer people in their 70s are creating an estate plan

Researchers at Boston College say that since 2008, there has been a consistent reduction in people 70 and older who have not created an estate plan. From 2008 to 2018, the percentage reduced to 63% from 70%.

Much of it is believed to be due to Hispanic and Black people being less likely to write a will when compared to white people. While this specific study’s numbers ended in 2018, other researchers have seen similar trends. looked at the statistics starting in 2020. It found that the number has dropped by 2% from 48% to 46% for those 55 and older.

Since relatives might disagree over the property after a person has died, it is useful to avoid the potential for rancor and have a will that details where it will go. This is true for expensive items like real estate, investments, automobiles and collectibles. It is also critical with sentimental items. Dying intestate and leaving the property to be divided based on the law can complicate matters.

The study says that more than 40% of people who did not write an estate plan said they were procrastinating. For 35%, they did not believe they had sufficient assets to make it worthwhile. Fifteen percent were unsure how to do so. Fourteen percent believe it is too costly.

Having an estate plan is a wise step

Being reluctant to create an estate plan happens to people of all ages. The statistics of people who are shunning this basic step is worrisome. It can cause a series of obstacles after a person dies and lead to discord between family members. It can be a challenge regardless of a person’s assets, income and family size. The proper guidance can assuage fears and help with creating a viable strategy.