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  • Northern Virginia Trusts & Estates

Big Mistakes: Top Reasons People Avoid Creating a Will

There are many different types of wills—certainly one which will fit most any situation—yet far too many people do not have even the simplest of wills.

In fact, according to research done by AARP, although most adults know they should have at least some type of estate plan, only one in four currently have a will or living trust.

Older adults are more likely to have a will—81 percent of those over the age of 72 have a will, while 58 percent of those between the ages of 53 and 71 have a will.

Younger adults should also carefully consider what would happen if they were to die unexpectedly without a will, especially if there are minor children involved.

Millennials and Gen Xers the Worst About Preparing a Simple Will

Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 36), appear to be the worst offenders with only 22 percent in this age group having a will.

Gen Xers (those between the ages of 37 and 52), are a bit better, with about 36 percent in this age group having a will.

The AARP study showed American adults are a bit better at having an advance medical directive in place, which gives another person legal authority to make medical decisions in the event of incapacity.

A bit more than half of all American adults do have a health care power of attorney, however adults across the board need to consider including a simple will & testament in their estate plan as well.

Why Do We Put Off Making a Simple Will & Testament?

If you wonder why we are such a nation of procrastinators over something which has such a range of negative repercussions for our loved ones, the top two reasons given by those surveyed for neglecting to have a Simple Will & Testament prepared are:

“I simply haven’t had time/gotten around to it,”


“I don’t have enough assets to leave behind.”

It is absolutely a myth that the only people who need wills are those with significant levels of assets. Most everyone has at least some assets—a car, a home, a bank account, perhaps a life insurance policy.

If you would prefer that your state not decide where those assets will go, then you definitely need a Simple Will & Testament.

If you have minor children, you absolutely need a Guardianship and Trust Will in order to provide a guardian for your children. It is also a good choice for those with small, uncomplicated estates, and wishes which are relatively straightforward.

In most states, you must be at least 18 years old and, generally speaking, must have your Last Will & Testament in written form.

You will usually need two witnesses for your will, although these witnesses do not need to know what is contained in your will—they are only witnessing that it is your will and that you signed the will yourself, without duress.

Holographic and Nuncupative Wills

Hand-written (holographic) are recognized in some states including Virginia, however they must generally be entirely in your handwriting, and signed by you.

A nuncupative (oral) will must usually be made in the presence of at least two witnesses, although not all states recognize nuncupative wills. Some states will only recognize a nuncupative usually will if you are dying from a “last sickness or imminent peril” and some only for the disposition of personal property, rather than real estate.

When you realize how much a Last Will & Testament can actually do—and how much heartache and trouble it can save the loved ones you leave behind, you are likely to decide the time to have your Last Will & Testament prepared is now.

Click here to find out more about our affordable simple will packages.

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