Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
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Most people don't have a will

New York residents who have don't even have a basic will are in the majority. Although dying without a will can create a lot of confusion and problems for the loved ones a person leaves behind, most people don't take the time to complete the easiest estate planning step. According to a survey that was released in early February, just 42 percent of adults in the U.S. have a will or a living trust.

The younger a person is, the less likely they are to have written a will. The survey found that 78 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 36 don't have a will, and 64 percent of adults between the ages of 37 and 52 do not. People between the ages of 53 and 71 are more likely to have wills, and just 40 percent of people in this age bracket reported that they did not have one. Though wills can be used to leave vital instructions about the guardianship of young children, only 36 percent of parents with minor children have created an estate plan.

Many people do not like to think about death, and an aversion to end-of-life conversations could be one reason why most people don't write wills. Another common reason people don't do any estate planning is procrastination. The survey found that 47 percent of respondents who had no will said that they just hadn't gotten around to writing one yet.

An estate planning attorney can describe the respective benefits of wills and trusts to clients who are starting to think about how best to protect and preserve their assets for future generations. Other documents that might be advisable are powers of attorney dealing with health care and financial decisions.

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