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More Than Two-Thirds Of Americans Do Not Have An Estate Plan

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People of all ages can benefit by talking to an estate planning attorney

If you've been thinking about talking to an estate planning lawyer but keep putting it off, you're not alone. An estimated 67 percent of Americans do not have a will, living trust, or any other estate planning documents for important end-of-life decisions, according to a recent study cited in a report by CNBC.

“Even with the big scare of potential impending death, people still don’t run out and take care of what’s not that challenging to take care of,” said Jim Rosenthal, CEO of Caring.com.

Caring.com conducted the study and surveyed thousands of adults from around the country about their current estate planning documents. According to the survey, only 33 percent of adults currently have a living trust, last will and testament, or another type of estate plan.

Why don’t people have an estate plan?

According to the study, people don’t have some kind of estate plan because “they just haven’t gotten around to it,” CNBC reported. In particular, 40 percent of survey respondents cited that very reason.

Other reasons for not having an estate plan included:

  • 33 percent said they don’t believe they have enough assets to leave to their loved ones.
  • 13 percent responded they thought the estate planning process is too expensive.
  • 12 percent said they do not know how to get a will.

Why is important to have an estate plan?

There are many reasons why it’s important for every adult to have an estate plan. It’s not just about money, property, or other valuable assets. If you are an adult and you don’t have an estate plan, your family, friends, and other important people in your lives might not know what to do with your important assets.

In addition, if you don’t have an estate plan after your death or if you are unable to communicate your wishes due to a serious illness or injury, your estate could be tied up in probate court for a long time.

As a result, instead of your family focusing on your serious medical condition or mourning your death, they might get dragged into the painful probate process and create permanent damage to important family relationships.

Most adults have different options when it comes to estate planning:

  • Last will and testament, which clearly states your wishes for distributing your assets after your death.
  • Power of attorney, which is a legal document that designates someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so because of an incapacitating illness or injury.
  • Living will, which is a legal document that clearly explains your medical wishes if you cannot make the decisions on your own.
  • Creating a Trust, which is another important estate planning tool that protects your assets during your lifetime and after your death.

These are just some of the different types of estate planning documents that are available. Talk to an estate planning lawyer to see what might be best for you.

Let our attorneys put you on the right path

Estate planning can be an intimidating process. It’s also important to carefully consider the tax implications and other financial matters when deciding what type of estate plan is right for you.

At The Law Firm of Brown & Jensen, we know what’s at stake. That’s why we welcome the opportunity to meet with you and help you better understand the estate planning process in Arizona.

Our attorneys have decades of experience and thoroughly understand the rules and regulations that apply to estate planning. We’re also well versed in the laws governing federal taxes, state taxes, and inheritance taxes in Arizona, meaning we can draft a plan that fits your needs and accomplishes your long-term goals.

Estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated—all you need to do is contact us to get things started. Schedule an appointment with an Arizona estate planning attorney from our law firm. We have eight offices conveniently located throughout Arizona, including offices in Mesa, Tucson, and Scottsdale.

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