Study Finds Nearly Half of Americans Over 55 Still Don’t Have a Will 

Forbes recently reported on a Merrill Lynch study, which delved into the psyche of Americans about their preparation for the future:  “The major takeaway is that nearly half of those over 55 have not yet created a will. To make matters worse, only 18 percent of people in that age range have all of the recommended legacy plan essentials: a will, a health care directive, and durable power of attorney.” .  


  •  Key insights reveal a desire for estate planning but lack of follow through. 


  • Many people believe they should have their affairs in order by 50. 
  • The overwhelming majority (90% over respondents to the study) were open to discussing end-of-life options with family and friends. 
  • Almost half of respondents over 55 were worried that they lack an advocate to promote their best interest toward the end of their life. 
  • The general sentiment from respondents was a desire to avoid being a burden to loved ones. 
  • More than half of respondents admitted that their lack of effective planning could leave difficult problems, confusion, and emotional pain for their families. 


  • Confusion about where to start is a main barrier for estate planning.


The study reported that one of the most difficult barriers holding people back from being prepared is confusion about where to start.  They don’t know what they need or how to get it, so it’s easy to put it off for the future. 


  •  Planning ahead can bring peace of mind to you and loved ones.


The Forbes article reported that an estate plan with a will, healthcare directive and durable power of attorney can be one of the best gifts you give yourself and loved ones.  When you plan ahead to get those three legacy essentials in place, you will feel far more in control and be confident that your family can advocate for your needs. 


  •  How to get started:  Schedule a consult with David Knecht Law.


There is an old adage that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  This common sense wisdom applies to estate planning perfectly because the best way to overcome intimidation or reluctance with estate planning is to take the first step.  Call the Law Office of David Knecht, at 707-451-4502, for consultation today, and speak with an attorney who will listen, who is experienced, and who will help you accomplish your estate planning goals.