The popular website Caring.com conduct surveys every year to measure the estate planning preparedness of American adults. They have recently released their 2021 version, and there is a surprising shift among people in a certain age group.
COVID Wake-Up Call
In the United States, the average life expectancy is about 78 years, so many people think of estate planning as something that it is only relevant for senior citizens. On one level, this attitude is understandable, but we all know that people pass away before their time every day.
Under ordinary circumstances, younger people are not confronted with examples of this on a consistent basis, but everything has changed. The COVID-19 pandemic can take away your life in the relative blink of an eye, and short of this, you could find yourself in an intensive care unit.
This year’s survey was conducted in light of the present circumstances, and the researchers asked the respondents a new question: Has the pandemic motivated you to put an estate plan in place?
The group that had the highest positive response was the 18 to 34 segment at 45 percent. For people between 35 and 54, the figure was 35 percent, and 28 percent of people in the oldest age group were motivated by the pandemic.
Overall, people 55 years of age and older are the most prepared group, but most of them do not have estate plans. Just 44 percent of these folks have wills or trusts, and this is a steep decline from the 60 percent that were prepared in 2019.
For individuals between the ages of 35 and 54, the number is a mere 22.5 percent compared to 37 percent in 2019.
The major surprise was the preparedness of the youngest group. In 2019, 18 percent of people between 18 and 34 had plans in place, and it is now 26.8 percent, which is more than the next oldest group.
Consequences of Intestacy
Parents of dependent children are typically in the two youngest age groups, and estate planning is an absolute must when you have others depending on your income. You should ask yourself where your family would be if you pass away suddenly, and you should act accordingly.
Life insurance can serve as a solid income replacement vehicle, the term life is very affordable for younger adults. Your estate plan should also include the designation of a guardian that would care for the child or children if the unthinkable was to take place.
Regardless of your age and your level of responsibility to others, if you die intestate, the probate court would be forced to provide supervision during the estate administration process. A personal representative would be appointed, the assets would be identified, and final debts would be paid.
At the conclusion of the lengthy, complicated process, the assets would be distributed under the intestate succession laws of the state of Vermont. Under these circumstances, it is very possible that some of your loved ones may be the left out in the cold.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
These surveys consistently find that most of the respondents think that estate planning is important, but they procrastinate for one reason or another. Some people are reluctant to discuss personal matters with an attorney they have just met, and some say that they do not know where to begin.
There is no reason to take pause now that you are connecting with our firm. Everyone here is in this field because we sincerely want to help people protect their legacies for the benefit of their loved ones.
We put ourselves in the shoes of our clients, and we treat you the way we would like to be treated if we were in your position. Each situation is different, and we provide personalized attention so your plan will be custom crafted to suit your needs.
You can set the wheels in motion right now if you give us a call at 802-879-7133. There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message, and if you reach out electronically, you will receive a prompt response.