3 Reasons the Majority of People Don’t Have a Will

by | Jan 27, 2015 | Wills and Trusts

It’s vital that you do not take the ostrich approach to estate planning.

A recent survey released by Rocket Lawyer found that 51% of Americans ages 55-64 don’t have wills! That’s a lot of people with their head stuck in the sand hoping things will just work out when they die. Based on what we see everyday here at Edwards Group, that is a COSTLY assumption to make.

Dying without a will costs your loved ones time, money, and extra stress during the already stressful grieving process. A will isn’t about your death. It’s about taking care of the ones you love.

The Top 3 Reasons for Not Having a Will

So, what reasons did people give for not having a will? The study found that:

  • 57% just haven’t gotten around to it
  • 22% felt it wasn’t urgent
  • 17% didn’t think they needed a will

Attorney David Edwards says this all the time – the greatest threat to estate planning (and protecting your family) is procrastination.

Here is what “not getting around to it” will cost when it comes to planning:

Loss of money – Lack of good planning can cost you money – more attorneys’ fees later, more taxes, more money being paid to a nursing home. By planning ahead, you can protect what you’ve worked so hard for.

Loss of family – Lack of effective estate planning tears families apart. Poor planning leaves families with wounds that never heal. Sadly, I see this all the time. Bad estate planning breaks up good families.

Increased stress for loved ones – A lack of proper planning can cause countless headaches and heartaches for your grieving family when it comes to dying without a will. Extra paperwork; long, drawn out court cases; and lost time from work piled on top of your loved ones’ grieving and busy regular life.

And for the 17% who don’t think they need a will, I hear that all the time, too. “I don’t need an estate plan. I don’t have an estate!” But that’s not true. If you own a house, are married or divorced, and you have children, then you need a will. Virtually everyone can benefit from having a personalized estate plan. Without one, the state of Illinois will decide what happens to your house, bank accounts, cars, etc. when you die. And trust me, the state of Illinois doesn’t know you or your family, so they may not make the same decisions you would make.

So what can you do? At Edwards Group we’ve worked hard over the years to make the process as simple as possible. Here are a few easy next steps if you need a will:

1. Give us a call at 217-726-9200. Tarina loves helping people and answering their questions. In fact, she was a client before she ever started working at Edwards Group, so she has a unique perspective that many find helpful.

2. Schedule an initial meeting. If you know you’re ready and want to stop putting it off any longer, just give us a call and schedule your Initial Meeting. At this meeting (which usually lasts about 45 minutes) you’ll review your concerns and goals with an attorney who will help you understand the unique risks your family faces. By the end of the meeting you’ll understand your planning options, how much it will cost and if Edwards Group is the right firm for you. Clients find this meeting to be very valuable in helping them understand their options.

Remember, the biggest threat to your assets and your family is procrastination. Please take action now. Don’t put it off any longer. There is too much at stake. Call us at 217-726-9200 to get started.