Survey Shows Most Adults Don’t Have a Will or Trust

A new survey shows most people have not taken care of critical planning. A Caring.com survey conducted in January 2017, reports that only 42% of U.S. adults have a Will or Living Trust in place. And for those respondents with minor-aged children (under 18), only 36% of those parents had plans in place. Regarding those with no plans, 47% of respondents reported that, “I just haven’t gotten around to it.”

Breaking down the responses further, the survey reported that:

78% of Millennials (ages 18-36) did not have a Will;

64% of Generation Xers (age 37 to 52) do not have a Will;

40% of those in the 53-71 age group reported not having a Will. 


While estate planning is important for adults of all ages, for parents of young children their planning is critical. Through the planning process, these parents can choose who should be a guardian for their children, and a trustee for those assets. This allows the parents to put their own plan in place, choosing people that they know and trust, rather than having the probate judge make those choices for your family.

In our experience, most people recognize the need for proper estate planning (including common documents such as a Will, durable power of attorney, and healthcare directive), but this survey shows that most persons (nearly six in ten) are not getting that planning done. Beyond the “:just not getting around to it” rationale, other likely reasons that people have not completed their planning include not wanting to face their own mortality, thinking that planning will be too expensive or is only for the rich, or thinking that their planning will be too hard or complicated. For clients of our firm, the reality is that the planning process is relatively simple and key decision points are readily explained so choices can be made easily. Moreover, the planning is affordable as well.

If you have questions about estate planning, or want to join the 42% of adults who have completed their planning, contact us for a brief, complimentary consultation. The process is likely easier than you think it will be.

Photo Credit: Marco Ceschi, via unsplash