The Secret Life of…Estate Planning

I have been doing some research recently on estate planning needs in my local community, and uncovered some shocking statistics on the high number of Americans who have not yet created an estate plan (of course, you know what they say about statistics, but I think that these numbers paint a picture, so I will share them with you):

  • 55-65% of all Americans die without a will
  • 75% of persons in minority groups (women, racial minorities, etc) do not have an estate plan.
  • Only 63% of even higher-net worth LGBT individuals (between $100,000-$5Million in assets) have a will and testament in place and only 54 percent have a living will according to a study by Spectrum published earlier in 2014.

Statistics like these are the reason why I am proud to focus on estate planning needs, especially for people who are taking care of their estate plans for the first time. I love teaching people about estate planning and helping to demystify the process, making it easier than they thought possible. It is my pleasure to assist LGBT families with their unique estate planning needs. If you are one of the large percentage of people without a will (or you have not updated your plan lately), now is a great time! Next Generation Legal Services would love to help.

Though the studies I read did not discuss this, I suspect that an even smaller percentage of the population takes the time to, as I recommend, review their estate plans every five years or more frequently to ensure that all documents are up to date and then update their plan if necessary by changing beneficiaries, trustees, executors or other key details. Remember, a good estate plan can last many years with some basic maintenance but good planning does not mean “set it and forget it”.

Read more about the study on LGBT individuals and estate planning here: