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More Than Half of Americans Have No Will

According to a recent Harris poll, 64% of Americans do not have a will. This number includes 80% of those aged 35-44, and 51% of married couples with children. As an estate planner, these numbers are depressing. What's really depressing is that these numbers have been steadily increasing over time. In 2011, the number of Americans without a will was just over half. This means that over time, the percentage of Americans who are failing to adequately plan for their futures is dramatically increasing.

According to the poll, the most common reasons provided about why people didn't have a will included "not getting around to it" (57%), "it isn't urgent" (22%), "don't need one" (17%) and "don't have a lawyer" (17%). Practical experience backs this up; these are all reasons I frequently hear in my practice when I ask people why they haven't estate planned sooner.

Over the next few days, I'll go over each one of these reasons in more detail, and why you shouldn't be using them as excuses to put off planning for your future.

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