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EZLaw Wills and Estate Planning Omnibus Survey Results

EZLaw Wills and Estate Planning Omnibus Survey Results

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Published by EZLaw
The 2011 EZLawTM Wills & Estate Planning Survey was conducted to better understand Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward wills and estate planning, including perceived importance of having a will and rationale for not having any estate planning documents in place.
The 2011 EZLawTM Wills & Estate Planning Survey was conducted to better understand Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward wills and estate planning, including perceived importance of having a will and rationale for not having any estate planning documents in place.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: EZLaw on Jul 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/18/2013

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1
The 2011 EZLaw
TM
Wills & Estate Planning Survey
I.
 
Background and Objectives
The 2011 EZLaw
TM
Wills & Estate Planning Survey was conducted to better understand
Americans’ attitudes and
behaviors toward wills and estate planning, including perceivedimportance of having a will and rationale for not having any estate planning documents inplace.
II.
 
Methodology
An online survey was conducted using the field services of TNS. The study reached anational sample of 1,000 American adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error for thetotal sample is ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level. This means that if we were to replicatethe study, we would expect to get the same results (within 3.1 percentage points) 95 timesout of 100.
III.Media Highlights
 
While many Americans recognize the importance of wills and estate planning,the majority admit that they have no estate planning documents in place:
Themajority of Americans (60%) believe all adults should have estate plans, yet only 44%of Americans report that they currently have any estate planning documents.
 
Compared to their counterparts, younger Americans and women appear to beless concerned about the importance of estate planning:
Women and youngerAmericans are more likely to be most concerned about maintaining their weight thanprotecting their financial assets. In addition, younger Americans believe that it isbecoming less important for people to have wills because people are living longer,healthier lives.
 
 
Alarmingly, adults with minors in the household
don’t appear to be taking
enough precautions when it comes to estate planning:
Over a third of Americanswith children under 18 in the household (36%) do not believe that wills or estateplanning documents are one of the most important documents to have in place. Themajority rank birth certificates (76%) titles/deeds for property and vehicles (70%) asthe most important.In addition, although the majority of Americans with minors in the household (75%) say
that the court will decide who becomes the child’s legal guardian if there is no will at the
time of 
both parents’ death, only 39% have any estate planning documents in place
. Of 
those Americans that don’t have any estate planning documents in place, one in ten
(13%) believe that their spouse/children will automatically receive the assets they have.
 
 
Americans express desire for a more effortless process of taking care of theirestate planning needs:
Nearly one in five consumers report that they do not haveestate planning documents because it is too complicated to deal with right now.Importantly, three-quarters of consumers report that they would be more likely tocreate or update their will if there was an easy, valid way to do so online.
 
 
 
2
IV.
 
Detailed Findings
 
 
For some Americans, particularly women and younger Americans, maintainingtheir weight is more concerning than protecting their financial assets.
o
 
While the majority of Americans report that they are most concerned aboutpreserving their health (70%) and having enough money to retire (50%), only 43%say they are most concerned about protecting their financial assets.
 
Interestingly, women are more likely to say that they are most concernedabout maintaining their weight (47%) than protecting their financial assets(44%).-
 
Women are significantly more likely than men to report that theyare most concerned about maintaining their weight (47% vs. 33%).
 
Americans 18-34 also are more likely to report that they are most concernedabout preserving their health (64%), having enough money to retire (52%)and maintaining their weight (51%) than protecting their financial assets(44%).
 
7%27%40%43%50%70%0%20%40%60%80%100%
None of theseKeeping up your looksand/or appearanceMaintaining your weightProtecting your financialassetsHaving enough moneyto retirePreserving your healthTotalAmericans
Less than half of Americans report concern overprotecting their financial assets
Q: Which of the following, if any, are you most concerned about? (Select as many as apply)
 
 
 
3
 
Title for vehicles/property and a copy of insurance policies are considered to beon par with estate planning documents as the most important documents tohave in place.
o
 
Four in ten Americans (38%) do not believe that wills or estate planning documentsare one of the most important documents to have in place.
 
 
Over a third (36%) of Americans with children in the household do not believethat wills or estate planning documents are one of the most importantdocuments to have in place.
 
o
 
In fact, Americans are more likely to say that the most important documents to havein place are a birth certificate (71%) and title/deeds for property or vehicles owned(66%) than wills or estate planning documents (62%).
 
 
Adults with minors in the household are also the most likely to rank birthcertificates (76%) or titles/deeds for property and vehicles (70%) as the mostimportant documents to have in place.
 
 
Younger Americans 18-34 are more likely to say that it is important to have acopy of their insurance policies (51%) in place than wills or estate planningdocuments (44%).
 
More affluent Americans (household income of $50K or more) are significantlymore likely than less affluent Americans (household income of less than$50K) to report that wills or estate planning documents are one of the mostimportant documents to have in place (70% vs. 49%).
 
5%2%17%25%43%59%62%66%71%0%20%40%60%80%100%Not sureNone of theseA copy of your creditreportDiplomaYour most recentincome tax informationA copy of yourinsurance policiesWill or estate planningdocumentsTitle/deeds for propertyor vehicles ownedBirth certificate
TotalAmericans
While many Americans consider estate planning documentsto be important, the majority admit not having any
Q: Which of the following, if any, do you believe are the most important documents to have in place? (Select as many as apply)
 

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