According to a recent survey, a staggering 65% of Americans do not have wills. More than half the population seemingly has scant regard for what will happen to their children and their assets when they die. A will is a vital element in estate planning. It is the only document that specifies how you want your estate to be distributed after death. Without it, it will be up to a probate court to decide this, and there is nothing that your loved ones can do. Even the welfare of your children (if they are minors) will be determined by the probate court.
What reasons are given for not having a will? The survey reveals that the most common answer is: “I don’t have to worry about a will because I don’t have much money and I don’t own a property.”
A large number of people said that making a will is too expensive and too complicated. Only 50% of Americans over the age of 50 have wills. In the 25-34 age-group, only 25% have wills, and this figure plummets to 7% in the 18-24 age-group. In the latter case, it may be understandable that drawing up a will is not on their list of priorities because they have so much else going on in their lives.
However, having a will is of the utmost importance for parents of minor children. If you fall into this category, you have a moral obligation to your children to decide, as their parent, who will be their legal guardian if you die.
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