Majority of Adults Do Not Have a Last Will and Testament

Do you have a will? If your answer was no, you're not alone. According to a 2007 survey by Harris Interactive, 55 percent of all adult Americans do not have a will. The survey found that most adults who do not have any of the basic estate planning documents say it is because they don't want to think about incapacitation or death, or that they are intimidated about the process of creating an estate plan.

The consequences of failing to plan for the inevitable can be extreme. A will allows one to express their intention of how their property should be distributed. Without a will, the state (by law) decides how your assets are distributed. Additionally, a will can name who will care for a minor child in the event that their parents or legal guardians pass away. If you do not plan for this, the court system will decide who will care for your child, which may not be the person(s) that you would have wanted.

Making a will should not be a complicated or intimidating experience. We can sit down with you and assist you with reaching your goals.

If you are one of the 45 percent of Americans that do have a will, there may have been a change in your personal circumstances that warrant a review of your estate plan. While this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, the following events may have occurred or are about to occur that would warrant a review of your estate plan to ensure that it still fits your needs:

- Birth, death, marriage and/or divorce in the family;
- Illness or disability of a parent, child or other family member;
- Receipt of substantial assets, whether through inheritance, insurance proceeds, gift or windfall;
- Major acquisition or sale of business or real estate;
- Contemplated acquisition or sale of business or real estate;
- Contemplated sale of large stock holdings;
- Contemplated large gift to charity;
- Contemplated large gift to an individual.

Whether in advance or after the fact, we can assist you in reaching your personal goals through proper planning and structuring.

This publication is for general information only and is not intended as formal legal advice. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Curtis & Curtis, P.C.

Curtis & Curtis, P.C. is a full service law firm located in Jackson, Michigan providing superior legal services and advice to individuals, families and businesses throughout mid-Michigan since 1901.

Categories: Estate Planning, Wills