Monday, November 19, 2007 Survey: 76% Believe Everyone Should Have a Will, But 57% Don't Have One

Even though three-quarters of our poll respondents (76 percent) believe that everyone should have a will, a whopping 57 percent of Americans don't have one themselves.

Parents of kids younger than 18 make an even poorer showing: 67 percent don't have a will, despite the fact that 88 percent of parents believe wills are an important way to appoint guardians....

This tendency to procrastinate is common to people of all education levels and walks of life, says Marshall Jones, an attorney and accredited estate planner at RMJ Family Wealth Planning in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"It's not surprising that most people don't have a will," he says. "Most attorneys don't have a will.

"Before I was in law school, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee died. He was a wealthy man in his own right and his committee was responsible for tax legislation. They found his will in his desk drawer ... unsigned. His family paid millions more in taxes because he did not complete his planning. Not much has changed since then. Many successful people plan every thing else in their lives except their estate plan."
Americans' words and deeds about wills at odds,, November 19, 2007

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