Every adult should know the value of estate planning. However, not everyone makes a plan, either because they don’t know what to do or they think they don’t need one. And common misconceptions about not needing an estate plan until you’re older or sick keep people from creating one.
But according to recent surveys and statistics, a surprising trend is emerging: Younger adults are increasingly more likely than older adults to have an estate plan.
The good news
Any trend showing an increase in the number of people with estate planning documents like wills and advanced care directives is a step in the right direction.
And a recent survey conducted by Caring.com revealed an 18 percent increase in adults between the ages of 18-34 having estate planning documents in the last two years. Now, roughly 27 percent of young adults have an estate plan.
This is undoubtedly a good thing. Every Colorado adult can benefit from having an estate plan, as it can make painful, complicated situations easier. It ensures trusted parties make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person; it allows families to avoid a lengthy probate process; it gives people peace of mind that they are carrying out a person’s wishes properly.
While the numbers for young adults are increasing when it comes to having an estate plan, the survey revealed the same cannot be said for adults over 35.
The number of people between 35 and 54 who have a plan has fallen sharply over the last two years to less than 23 percent, marking the first time this demographic has a lower number than young adults.
This is not a good trend, considering older adults can have more to protect with an estate plan than younger people. Often, middle-aged adults have children and own property. They also may have retirement accounts and investments.
What will future trends reveal?
There is no way to predict the future. However, we can shape what it will look like when we prepare for possible scenarios. In the context of estate planning, this means drafting a will, setting up a trust and utilizing asset protection strategies to ensure parties have enough money to receive the care they may one day need.
Hopefully, future surveys and trends will show that adults of all ages are taking their future care and legacy more seriously by making these preparations.