Nobody likes to think about their own death. It’s simply a fact of life. And while it may be okay to think that you will live forever, it’s definitely a bad idea to plan like you will.
Too many Americans practice what a recent Forbes article calls the “ostrich approach” to estate planning, meaning that they bury their heads in the sand and ignore the problem.
How many Americans don’t have a will? Unfortunately, that number is 51 percent of people aged 55 to 64.
This data comes from a survey by Rocket Lawyer. The survey also asked Americans why they didn’t have a will. The responses included the following:
- 57 percent said they “just haven’t gotten around to making one”
- 22 percent thought that creating a will wasn’t urgent
- 17 percent thought they didn’t need a will
- 14 percent said that they haven’t made one because they don’t want to think about death
Everyone needs a will. No matter your income, your net worth, or your family size, you should have a will.
If you die without leaving a will, you will have no control over how your possessions are distributed and who will be the guardian of any children under the age of 18. Your family might end up fighting over possessions they feel they deserve but weren’t entitled to under state law.
If you are worried about the cost of creating a will, you should know that it is probably more affordable than you think. Some people go the DIY route, using online sites that provide will templates. (If you decide to do this, make sure that your will is legally enforceable in Ohio.) Others talk to an estate planning attorney. If you have a complex estate, working with an experienced lawyer can be very beneficial.
Whatever avenue you decide to take, create a will as soon as possible. You never know when death will come knocking at your door, and you don’t want to leave your family unprotected when the time comes.