The bulk of Americans remain confused about estate planning

by | Jun 24, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Many Americans receive a quality education as they grow up, but many people get left in the dust. Even those that receive a decent education and learn the details of numerous subjects are often left to fend for themselves or learn from their parents about estate planning, financial planning, taxes, and other subjects linked to successful adulthood.

This is one reason why loads of Americans remain confused about estate planning – the common questions remain.

  1. Should I have a will or a trust?
  2. Is estate planning even a viable option?
  3. I’m not rich, so why do I need an estate plan?

While most Americans are familiar with a will, a survey conducted by Wealth Counsel discovered that a mere 3% of survey respondents understood the benefits of procuring a trust. The study proved just how confused Americans are regarding estate planning, as 74% of respondents affirmed that they didn’t understand why a will or trust was a valuable planning tool.

In addition to the confusion, 49% said they weren’t worth enough to consider estate planning, and 61% stated that a will is enough for what they wish to accomplish.

Are Americans open to professional guidance?

The fact is that many of these respondents haven’t been correctly educated. Wills and trusts are starkly different in many ways. While a will allows you to assign guardianship for a minor child in case of death or incapacitation, a trust does not. While a trust puts your family in control and is valid at the moment of your death, a will is not. To be granted legality, a will must pass through the stressful, public and court-directed probate process. Those two examples are just a couple fo the differences. Most individuals, and especially families, can benefit from both long-term planning documents.

Those surveyed responded heavily in favor of receiving professional guidance to quell their confusion and discuss their estate planning needs. Estate planning attorneys are one of the go-to knowledge holders concerning the pros and cons of a will or trust for each individual’s unique situation. Wealth Counsel’s survey reported that 76% of respondents believe that ana attorney is essential when creating an estate plan.