Most Adult Children Uninformed About Wills Documents, 2015 Study
For many adult children, caring for an aging parent can be a “take it as you go” journey. From March 5-8, 2015, Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental U.S. proving that the majority of adult children are not adequately informed of the documents that are needed to ensure they can care for and assist their aging parent(s) medically or financially, should they become ill or incapacitated.
Adults Informed About Parents’ Estate Documents
Q: As far as you know, do your parents currently have estate documents such as will or living trust in case of their death?
- 56% Yes
- 27% No
- 16% I don’t know
- 2% Refused to answer
Political affiliation and documents
- Republicans: 67% with a parent claimed to have a will or living trust
- Democrats: 58% with a parent claimed to have a will or living trust
- Independent: 52% with a parent claimed to have a will or living trust
Latest Update of Documents?
Q: As far as you know, how long has it been since your parents’ will or living trust was updated?
- 19% Less than a year ago
- 40% 1-5 years ago
- 7% 6-10 years ago
- 4% More than 10 years
- 6% Never been updated
- 24% Don’t know
Whereabouts of Estate Documents
Q: Do you happen to know where your parents store their will or living trust documents, or do you not know where they are?
- 52% No, do not know where they are
- 48% Yes, know where they are
Men versus women
- 52% of Men know the whereabouts of estate documents
- 44% of Women know the whereabouts of estate documents
- 50-64: 29% of adults don’t know where their parent’s documents are
- 65+: 23% of adults don’t know where their parent’s documents are
Contents of Parents’ Estate Documents
Q: Do you happen to know the content of your parents’ will or living trust documents, or do you not know what’s in them?
- 58% Don’t know the content
- 42% Know the content
Women versus men
- 49% of women know the contents of the documents
- 33% of men know the contents of the documents
- 65+: 44% don’t know the contents of the documents