Nearly 60% of Americans Don’t Have Wills

Most Republicans have one, but just 38% of Democrats do; two-thirds of parents with young kids are intestate

Feb 6, 2017

By InvestmentNews

Only 36% of U.S. adults with children under age 18 have a will or living trust, and just 42% of all U.S. adults have such documents, a new study from finds.

Older Americans are better prepared than younger ones, with 58% of Baby Boomers and 81% of those older than 72 having a will or living trust, compared with one in five Millennials (ages 18-36) and 36% of Gen Xers (37 to 52).

Among those who don’t have estate documents, the main reasons are: “I just haven’t gotten around to it” (47%) and “I don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone” (29%).

The survey, conducted for a San Mateo, Calif.-based senior care referral service, interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults and found that medical and healthcare powers of attorney are more common than wills/living trusts. About 53% of U.S. adults having granted someone legal authorization to make decisions on their medical care if they are unable to do so.

In terms of wills, the survey found that 58% of Republicans have one, versus 38% of Democrats and 37% of independents.