ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Four out of 10 Americans do not have a will. The younger they are, the less likely Americans are to have a will or similar document, according to a 2019 survey from caring.com.
People concerned about what will happen to their possessions including the placement of children following death should realize that without a will or other document in place, there is no way to execute their wishes after death, according to lawhelpny.org.
A will is the only safeguard that protects a person’s decisions after they die. If no such document exists, then a court decides what happens to personal possessions. This should be particularly concerning for parents.
Because the average age of women is 23 and the average age of a man is 25 at the birth of their first child in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s important for parents to have a will stating who they want to care for their children if they are ever unable to.
However, those aged 18-34 are the least likely to have a will or living trust according to the caring.com survey.
Laws surrounding the distribution of assets after death, when there is no will present vary state to state. In N.Y., if a person does not have a will or similar document the court will decide how assets get distributed and who will take care of surviving children, according to lawhelpny.org.
The caring.com survey says the top reasons why people don’t or haven’t made a will include not having enough assets or saying it’s too expensive to make one but lawhelpny.org says it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. They have easy steps for people to follow and explain the laws surrounding wills in N.Y. on their website.
The American Bar Association provides important information about what types of instructions should be included in a will, things to keep in consideration if someone owns a trust, have life insurance policies, jointly owned property or retirement benefits on its website as well.