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Survey: nearly 2/3rds of Americans are without a will

Wills are very powerful and helpful legal documents. They let a person express, in a legally enforceable manner, what should happen with their property and other important matters when they die. Thus, having a will can give a person a great deal of control regarding what will happen when they pass away.

However, despite all this, many Americans continue to not have a legal will. Just how widespread lacking a will is in the country can be seen in a recent survey. Based on the answers given by respondents, the survey indicates that around 64 percent of Americans are without a will.

It is not uncommon for people to view death as something that is a long ways off for them. Thus, many people may think that planning for what will happen when they die is something that it is alright to put off for awhile. Over one-fourth, 27 percent, of the respondents of the above-mentioned survey who indicated that they did not have a will said that the reason they did not have one is that they did not feel that there was an urgent need to have one right now.

However, putting off estate planning tasks, like making a will, because of a perceived lack of urgent need can be a remarkably risky thing for a person to do. Death isn't subject to a schedule, a fatal accident or illness can end up arising completely unexpectedly. If a person dies before they get around to setting up their estate plan, they lose their chance to have a say in what will happen upon their death. Rather, important things like what will happen with their property will be dictated by the state.

Estate planning attorneys can help individuals with making a will and other important estate planning steps for planning for the future and the unexpected.

Source: USA Today, "Put this on your bucket list: Make a will," Jeff Reeves, July 11, 2015

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