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In a survey of more than 2,400 individuals, four out of ten people showed that they believe they do not have enough assets to create a will (’s 2024 Wills and Estate Planning Study).

This study shows a common misconception: that estate planning is only for the wealthy. In reality, estate planning should be a crucial step in everyone’s life, regardless of wealth status!

Estate planning is not just for passing down wealth. Estate planning also consists of planning for aging, illnesses, or injuries, which can be unpredictable. Estate planning allows individuals to make crucial decisions ahead of time and prior to an emergency. These decisions may look different depending on your estate, but could include determining who will care for your children if you pass away, what kind of care you would like to receive when you are older, who would be appointed as guardian for your minor children, or plans for your pets.


A will is one of the most basic estate planning documents. A will is a legal document that allows you to specify who receives your assets upon your death. Your will can include friends, family members, nonprofits, or other entities. The validity of your will is crucial to prevent potential arguments over your assets, such as real estate or any sentimental items.

It’s important to regularly update your will and the rest of your estate plan when significant changes happen in your life. Significant changes may include welcoming a new grandchild, moving to a new state, or filing for divorce.


The annual survey sheds light on Americans’ views about estate planning,  while highlighting the misconceptions that often delay or prevent individuals from making a will. Interestingly, 64% of surveyed individuals said having a will holds significant or moderate importance to them. Despite this, Americans with a will have decreased by 6% since 2023 with only 32% having a will as of 2024.

People Are Saying They Do Not Have Enough Assets

In 2024, 14% more adults also indicated a lack of assets as a reason for not having a will. From 2022 to 2024, this number rose by 21%.

Compared to individuals with higher incomes, those with lower incomes were twice as likely to mention insufficient assets as a reason why they have not created a will.

People with less education were also more likely to cite insufficient assets. In fact, 43% of respondents with a high school diploma or less education said that they did not have a will due to not having enough assets to leave to anyone.

Understanding the Impact of Inflation

Inflation has therefore shaped views on estate planning as well. Due to the increased prices of goods and necessities, many households are under financial pressure.

For some individuals, rising inflation motivates them to plan, while others see it as a reason to not create an estate plan due to their lack of financial resources.

  • 20% of people saw a greater need for estate planning due to inflation
  • 9% said they believe there is less need for estate planning due to inflation reducing the value of their assets
  • 8% said they do not need a will, because they sold their assets to combat inflation
  • Black Americans were the most likely to say inflation had a positive affect on their views of estate planning


While some never intend to create an estate plan, others delay planning, and wait for certain life events to take place.

Approximately 25% of Americans report that nothing would prompt them to get a will, while 43% said procrastination is the reason for not making a will yet.

Many Americans wait for a major life change before they start estate planning:

  • 43% percent of people surveyed said they would make a will after a serious medical diagnosis or major health concern
  • Almost 25% of people indicated that a purchase of a home or retiring would prompt them to start estate planning
  • 17% said that the death of a loved one would motivate them to start planning
  • 15% said they would make an estate plan if it were part of an employer benefit


While many people wait for motivation to start estate planning, it can be challenging to predict what lies ahead. When you are proactive and create an estate plan in advance of life events, you may give yourself an advantage as well as an extra layer of protection.

Even if you believe your assets are insufficient for a will, an estate plan offers numerous advantages. An estate planning attorney can assist you in crafting a comprehensive plan tailored to your requirements. This includes drafting advance directives like powers of attorney, appointing guardians for minor children, and preparing for long-term care.

Bromlow Law, PLLC and Laura L. Bromlow are dedicated to the practice of Elder Law and Estate Planning. Our practice focuses solely on working with clients in these and closely related legal fields. Laura L. Bromlow is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation. Bromlow Law, PLLC strives to enhance communication among family members and loved ones and to keep them all out of conflict so they can stay out of court. We want to help you keep your close circle safe!

Please contact our office today at (281) 665-3807 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal matters. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

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