11 hours ago
A new study published by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found that nearly half of Americans over the age of 55 still donât have a will in place for when they die.
In addition, according to Forbes, only 18 percent of those 55-plusÂ have all their end-of-life ducks in a row, meaning they have a will, health care directives in place, and a power of attorney selected.
Kevin Hindman, the Managing Director and National Trust Executive at Merrill Lynch, thinks there could be a couple ofÂ contributing factors to this lack of planning.Â People tend to beÂ more concerned about the memories shared by loved ones and less aboutÂ how much money theyâre leaving their offspring. Also, discussions about death have become less taboo so, as more families open upÂ about the topic, itÂ doesnât seem so imminent and the need for a will can end up seeming hasty or macabre.
âItâs more important to actually take the action and modify as appropriate, instead of waiting until the perfect time,â Hindman explained.
Hindman suggested working with a financial advisor to discuss short and long-term care options as well as trust or life insurance planning. Talking to friends or family who have lost someone and handled an estate matter could also be a great starting point.
Finally, talk to a lawyerâtheyâll help you determine which estate laws apply to you and help with your planning.
âA legacy is one of the best gifts we can give to those we love,â Hindman said.