Will(ful) Neglect: Do Americans Have the Wills They Deserve?

Estate Planning - August 8, 2023
Father kissing his teen daughter as his teenage son stands nearby.

A Last Will and Testament prepares for the inevitable.

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that provides who is to receive your property after your death, who will administer your estate, who will serve as guardian to your children, and many other provisions. It is essential to have a Will for the sake of your family, your estate, and your own peace of mind.

Without a Will, you leave your loved ones and precious possessions in the hands of the courts to disperse as they see fit. The longer this probate process drags on, the more fees and taxes your loved ones will end up paying. Probate can consume your loved ones’ time for up to 2 years and eat up 3%-7% of the value of your estate.

Americans are not prepared.

LegalShield recently conducted a nationwide survey to find out how if Americans know about the importance of having a Will. We also asked the survey participants if they already had a Will in place. The results were shocking.

Legacies at Risk: Survey Reveals Nearly 60% of American Unprepared for the Investiable. 20% of American believe having a Will is important, nearly 60% do not have one prepared.When we reviewed the results of our survey, we learned that many Americans are simply not prepared for the end of life. This is understandable: Death is a frightening, mysterious subject that most people want to avoid. Unfortunately, that means that estate planning is thrown the wayside—even though people know it is essential!

Here is what we found:

  • While 90% of Americans know it is important to have a Will, almost 6 in 10 have not yet created their Will or begun other estate planning processes.
  • 46% of our survey participants admitted that they didn’t even know where to begin.
  • 72% were worried about the expensive price tag and were avoiding paying the price of Will preparation.

Isn’t preparing a Will expensive and difficult?

It is true that creating a Will can be complicated, time-consuming, and costly. Without the help of a lawyer, you may not have the peace of mind that your wishes will be communicated to your loved ones or that a court will honor your wishes. Most lawyers charge an average of $1,500 to draft a basic Will and Estate Plan. That’s where LegalShield comes in to save the day.

LegalShield levels the playing field for our members.

You do not have to avoid the estate planning process, or even try to do it yourself. LegalShield works hard to make estate planning easy, simple, and affordable for all our members. Our dedicated provider law firms work tirelessly to bridge the gap. As LegalShield provider lawyer Ashley Higginbotham said so well, “We see the stress melt away from clients when they take this important step for themselves and their loved ones.”

If you have questions about creating your Will or other estate planning issues, we have answers. Here are just a few of the pressing issues that we assist our members with:

  • Do you need a Will? (We’ve already answered this one!)
  • What are the types of Wills?
  • Can you get some guidance with estate planning?

Our LegalShield Members can even access a guided Will questionnaire to make starting their Wills simple and hassle-free.

Get the inside scoop on what Americans think about Wills from our nationwide survey. You don’t have to go through this process alone. Find out how LegalShield can help you prepare your Will today.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.