If you ask the average American if they have an estate plan, the odds are that they will say they haven’t done their planning yet. This is simply because studies have found that most people from age 18 and up don’t have an estate plan. These are legal adults in the United States, so some element of planning is possible and could be beneficial, but they haven’t done it at this time.
But there are some interesting facts that you need to consider when looking at these raw statistics. For example, your age can make a very big difference.
Older individuals do more estate planning
As you may have guessed, part of the reason that the average person doesn’t have an estate plan is that many people still feel that they are too young. An 18-year-old may be a legal adult, but they probably don’t feel the need to make a plan yet.
If you look at older individuals in the United States, however, they do their estate planning more often. For instance, those who are 72 years old and older report that they have done their estate planning about 81% of the time. If you look only at Baby Boomers, who range from 53 to 71 years old – or did at the time of the study – about 58% of them already have estate plans.
This makes it clear that the amount of planning people do tends to ramp up as they get older. While that does make logical sense in some ways, remember that you can do your estate planning early and then update it in the future. This may provide you with a more stable situation, so be sure you know what steps to take.