You have never written a will. When you ask your friends, most of them haven’t done it either. They all say that they need to, and they express remorse that they haven’t done it, but the reality is still clear: You’re not alone. People often do not do any estate planning.
As recently as late 2017, reports showed that a mere 40 percent of people in the United States have actually written a will. Only 17% of these people have created a trust, giving them more control over their money. About 75%, when asked if they thought that estate planning was just too confusing, said that they did.
That confusion is a big reason why people do not draft a will or create a trust. They find it intimidating. They don’t know where to start. They think that they can’t handle it or that they’ll make mistakes — not realizing, perhaps, that the biggest mistake is not doing it at all.
You shouldn’t feel intimidated. Yes, estate planning can get complex, especially when you have a large number of assets or when you want to use trusts and other documentation that goes beyond the will. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work with a team to get it all done in time. You absolutely do not want to use your confusion as an excuse to put it off, as so many people do, because you never know when your family is going to need it.
If you want to get started soon, make sure you learn what steps you’ll need to take.