Most Americans Do Not Have A Will

September 5, 2018

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The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was laid to rest last week and while we will always have her music to soothe us, her death has brought up a subject that most adults cringe to consider. Aretha Franklin died without leaving a will or trust, and now her four sons are left filing claims to take possession of her reported $80 million estate. Most adults (58%) do not have a will, trust or power of attorneys in place and even more concerning, those with children under the age of 18 that number jumps to 64%. The reasons are not reassuring with the biggest reason given is they "just haven't gotten around to doing it." Estate-planners say the biggest misconception of not having a will or trust is that people “don’t have enough assets to leave anyone.” Your will goes over so much more than money. It can detail your funeral wishes and will name who inherits your assets, who takes care of your children and even indicate that you’ve donated assets to charity. Without planning, your assets have to determine by the probate court, which could take months and even years. While 78% of people under the age of 36 simply believe they don't expect to die, the truth is no one knows for sure and if there is any lesson to be learned is that you should have a will of trust drawn up so that your loved ones know for sure, your wishes. Before you visit an estate-planning attorney, make a list of all of your assets (including property, investments, vehicles and valuables), accounts (such as cash, savings, credit lines and insurance policies), and think about who you trust to designate as the executor of your estate and the guardian of your kids, so you can arrive prepared.

SOURCE: Moneyish

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