If you have been thinking about your estate planning but you have not done it yet, you’re in good company. Most Americans do not have a plan in place, despite living in a relatively wealthy country and knowing that, eventually, everyone will pass what they own on to the next generation. 

One common counter to this claim is that young people factor into the “most people” statistic. Sure, you think, a lot of people in their early 20s don’t have estate plans. They’re young, they’re healthy, they’re not married, they don’t have children and they have relatively little wealth. Of course they do not have an estate plan. 

Well, if you’re thinking along those lines, please note that about 50% of those who are 55 years old and older also don’t have their planning done. This is not just an issue for young people. By 55, a person is around two decades from the life expectancy in the United States. They may be one decade from retirement. They could also have significant assets, children and even grandchildren. And yet many of them do not plan. 

This is also not to let younger people off the hook. Estate planning is important at any age. Life expectancy is something that’s not guaranteed for everyone. One of the biggest reasons that people put planning off is that they feel they’re too young to worry about it, but this can create all sorts of issues with an unexpected death. 

If you’re ready to get started, make sure you know what legal steps you need to take.