Most Americans do not have wills. They should get one, but they should not stop their estate planning with just a will.
The estate planning news has recently been full of stories about a new survey that showed that 58% of American adults do not have wills. The survey found that it was even worse for parents of minor children. Some 64% of them do not have wills. They have more reasons than anyone else have a will.
This has resulted in many articles about how Americans need to get wills and why their excuses for not getting them are misguided. That is all true.
Americans do need to get wills and they do need to stop making the same excuses, as the AARP points out in “Haven’t Done A Will Yet?”
However, estate planning should not stop with just a will.
A will is only one of the documents you can get by going to an experienced estate planning attorney. For example, you might learn that a trust is a better primary estate planning tool for you to use in your particular situation. Through an attorney, you can also get other important legal documents, including a health care power of attorney, a general durable power of attorney and a living will.
These and other legal documents will make sure that your financial affairs are managed properly, if you ever become unable to handle your own affairs.
Do get a will if you do not already have one. However, do not stop there. Make sure that you have a more thorough estate plan by consulting with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Reference: AARP (Feb. 24, 2017) “Haven’t Done A Will Yet?”