Lagging Behind: 72% of Americans Do Not Have an Up-to-Date Will

Cary, NC Estate Planning Lawyer 

Cary, NC Estate Planning Lawyer 

I wrote previously about a recent survey which estimated that 63% of Americans do not have a will. Well, when combined with people who have an out-of-date will - one that is practically worthless. That number climbs to 72%, and the break down by age group does not look good.

A recent survey concluded that approximately 9% of Americans have a will that was created before they got married or had children - or someone named in the will was deceased. That number climbs to 15% for people over the age of 64. There was a positive relationship between age and whether someone had a will. Consider the following data:

18-24: 85% do not have a Will, 10% have an out-of-date Will, and 5% have an up-to-date Will

24-35: 80% do not have a Will, 6% have an out-of-date Will, and 14% have an up-to-date Will

35-44: 67% do not have a Will, 8% have an out-of-date Will, and 25% have an up-to-date Will

45-54: 53% do not have a Will, 11% have an out-of-date Will, and 36% have an up-to-date Will

55-64: 52% do not have a Will, 8% have an out-of-date Will, and 40% have an up-to-date Will. 

65+: 35% do not have a Will, 15% have an out-of-date Will, and 50% have an upto-date Will. 

The income group least likely to have an up-to-date Will was in the $100,000+ annual income range

The income group most likely to have an up-to-date Will was in the $25,000-$99,999 range.  

To conclude, planning is extremely important, but updating your plan is just as important. Having a Will that does not meet your financial and personal needs is as good as not having a Will at all.