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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Most Americans Do Not Have an Estate Plan in Place

Over the past few pandemic years, Americans have had to confront some uncomfortable ideas about what they knew or thought they knew about their health and safety. Unfortunately, sudden illness does strike. The unforeseen, as well as the foreseen, does happen. Despite the tough realities we have all grappled with in recent years, a shocking number of Americans still do not have an estate plan in place.

Most Americans Do Not Have an Estate Plan in Place

According to a recent study conducted by Caring.com, a senior living referral service, approximately two-thirds of Americans do not have an estate plan in place. This means just about 33% of Americans have an estate plan in place. Considering how important estate planning is, this is not only surprising, but disconcerting.

After all, an estate planning can accomplish a number of really important goals, not to mention put vital protections in place to safeguard your wishes for yourself, your loved ones, your assets, as well as your health care preferences. In a comprehensive estate plan, you can dictate how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death. You can name a guardian for any minor children you may have, as well as a personal representative for your estate and a health care surrogate to serve as your agent and make important health care choices on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated and unable to communicate such preferences for yourself.

Think about it. With a strong estate plan, you plan for the inevitable, which is death, and the not necessarily inevitable, but the possible, which is incapacitation. Appoint a trusted individual pursuant to a power of attorney to manage your affairs in the event you are incapacitated. Establish a living will to outline your end of life care preferences. These are legal tools that are intended to protect your wishes and appoint people you trust to positions of responsibility should you ever need such assistance. Additionally, because of the range of tools a comprehensive estate plan includes, it makes it important for people of any age and of any income level, regardless of health status or wealth status.

The Caring.com survey study revealed that the number one reason why many people do not have an estate plan in place is because they simply have not gotten around to it. In fact, 40% of survey respondents claimed this as the reason for lacking an estate plan. It is an unfortunate reality that many people let estate planning continually fall down their to-do list and opt to prioritize what seem like tasks of more immediate importance. The reality, however, is that you never know when you are going to need your estate plan. Making it a priority now, however, will help ensure you are prepared for whatever unexpected event life may throw your way.

Estate Planning Attorney

Stop putting off estate planning. The team at Monk Law is here to help make this important process as seamless as possible. Contact Monk Law today.


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