Guess Who Doesn’t Have a Will?
According to a 2017 survey reported by Caring.com only 42% of U.S. adults currently have a Last Will and Testament or living trust. For those with minor children, only 36% have an end of life plan. The statistics are rather staggering because we do everything we can for our family financially and emotionally while we are living, but we just leave them to fend for themselves when we die without a will.
When we are young, we all expect to live until we are in our 80s and believe we have plenty of time to make a will. As we get older, we become more aware that no one is safe from unexpected death from traffic accidents and illnesses. It may be understandable why the study showed 78% of millennials (age 18-36) do not have a will, especially if they do not have children. However, there is still a large percentage of people over 50 who do not have a will. The study showed that only 60% of the older generation, those between the ages of 53-71, have a will.
In 2011, the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld acquired a newborn kitten named Choupette. She is not just any cat. She has a modeling career, a Twitter account and 117,000 Instagram followers who she can communicate with on her own iPad, while reclining in a $13,000 designer sofa. Now, with the death of Karl Lagerfeld in February 2019, she may be one wealthy cat. Shortly before his death, Karl said he would leave a large portion of his estimated $125 million estate to Choupette. At this time, the details of Karl’s estate plan are unknown. Perhaps he will have a well drafted pet trust, so Choupette can continue living in the lifestyle to which she is accustomed.
Unfortunately, even famous people fail to take the necessary steps to create an estate plan. For example, did you know these famous people died without a will?
Prince — Singer
Aretha Franklin — Singer
Bob Marley — Singer
Jimi Hendrix — Musician
Sonny Bono — Singer/Congressman
Abraham Lincoln — Lawyer/U.S. President
Martin Luther King, Jr. — Civil Rights Leader
Howard Hughes — Entrepreneur and billionaire
Marvin Gaye — Singer
Pablo Picasso — Artist
Billie Holiday — Singer
John Denver — Singer
Barry White — Singer
Stieg Larsson — Author (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Myth: You Don't Need a Will if You Don't have
There is a misconception that you do not need a will unless you have substantial assets. Estate planning is really for everyone. Even if you only want your baseball card collection to go to a nephew or your favorite hunting rifle to go to your oldest grandson, or want to name the person who will raise your children, there can be such emotional satisfaction to those you leave behind that you took the time to think of them and took care of them after you’re gone. Although you may not have valuable tangible assets, you may have a life insurance policy that your minor children may inherit. Wanting to ensure that the money is protected and available when they grow up should be enough to encourage even the youngest parents to consider an estate plan.
Time to Stop Procrastinating
The Caring.com study reported that the number one reason people do not have a will is procrastination. The Law Office of Hugh Spires, Jr. has removed the obstacle of not having time to create a will. From your smartphone, you can send a message in a matter of seconds through our website to get the process started. Contact us today.