You often hear people say that most Americans have not yet done any estate planning. This statistic includes all adults, so that’s everyone 18 and up. That fact can make people discount the statistics, feeling like it’s natural for young people not to have an estate plan and assuming it skews the numbers.
There are two things to note here. The first is that anyone, at any age, can have an estate plan. An 18-year-old with assets to pass on still needs to know what to do with those assets. Young parents still need to have a plan for their children. Illness and accidents take lives unexpectedly every day, and even the youth are not immune.
Secondly, the statistics are not as skewed as you may think. When looking only at older Americans, experts have found that nearly 50% of this group don’t have estate plans or even simple wills. If you think that young people are just putting off estate planning until they’re older, this shows that even older Americans keep putting it off. That’s a real risk.
What is an “older” American? In that study, it referred to those who were over 55 years old. If you assume they’ll retire around 65, they’re a decade — or less — away from it.
Regardless of your age, you can see that estate planning is something Americans often neglect. This puts the transfer of wealth in question for the next generation. If you’d like to get yours started and reverse this trend, you need to know what legal options you have.