New Research Reveals Nearly 25 Percent Decrease in the Number of Older and Middle-Aged Americans With a Will
Caring.com’s 2020 Will and Living Trust Survey Shows a Decline Among Adults With an Estate Planning Document Over the Last 3 Years and Highlights a Lack of Education as an Underlying Issue
CHARLOTTE, NC; Mar. 2, 2020 — Caring.com, a leading senior care referral service with Family Advisors nationwide, has announced key findings from its annual Will and Living Trust Survey. The latest study includes feedback from 2,400 Americans and was used to examine which groups are more likely to engage in estate planning as well as their underlying reasons for having or not having a will. The survey is an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the importance of estate planning, especially among those with limited knowledge and access to resources.
Results from the survey show a significant change, over a three-year period, in the number of older and middle-aged Americans with a will. In 2017, 42% of respondents reported that they had a will or similar document. However, the 2020 survey shows only 32% having one or more documents. This is almost a 25% decrease in the number of people with a will or living trust.
One consistent finding from the research is that race is still a key indicator of those more likely to delay or ignore the need to create a will. Both Caucasians and African Americans are more likely to cite simple procrastination as the reason for not having a will than Hispanics. In contrast, more Hispanics are saying that they either don’t know how, or it’s too expensive to get a will. Additionally, nearly 2 out of 3 Caucasians believe that getting a will is important, but only about half of all Hispanics say the same.
“The significant increase among Americans without a will, living trust or health directive should be alarming for any family,” says Patrick Hicks, Head of Legal at online estate planning company Trust & Will. “Estate planning not only helps to protect assets, but it’s an important process to ensure who will care for minor children or make decisions about your health if you become incapacitated.”
Based on past studies, people with a higher income are also more likely to have an estate planning document. Last year, 61% of people making $75,000 or more had a will. Yet, this year shows just 45% of Americans at that income level with an estate planning document.
Since 2015, Caring.com has conducted the wills survey to help educate families and increase awareness about the estate planning process. The organization partnered with YouGov to survey over two thousand Americans and analyze the results. To review key findings from the survey, including infographics and estate planning basics, visit https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey/.
With millions of website visitors, Caring.com is a leading senior care resource and referral service for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. Founded in 2007 and applying cutting-edge technology to its social mission, Caring provides caregivers extensive senior care information and comprehensive senior living and senior care directories for the United States. Caring.com is also the #1 site for consumer reviews of senior living and in-home care providers, with about 250,000 reviews currently published and thousands added every month. Through a toll-free referral line at (855) 223-4260, Caring’s Family Advisors across the nation help families and seniors research and connect to the most appropriate senior care services for their specific situations. For more information about our organization and services, please visit http://www.caring.com/about and join with Caring on Facebook.