Survey after survey shows that the majority of Americans do not have an estate plan, or even a will. The New York Times recently reported on a new survey that shows only 42% of Americans have a will in "Why You Should Get Around to Drawing Up a Will."
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of people over the age of 72 have a will. The bad news is that only one in five people between the ages of 18 and 36 have wills.
The problem is that younger adults often have a very big reasons why it is more important for them to have a will than it is for retired people. Younger adults are far more likely to have minor children that need backup parents appointed, if they are orphaned.
It is only through creating an estate plan that parents can give directions about who should care for their children and how that should be done. An estate plan is also the best way to make sure the children's immediate and long-term financial needs are met.
Even young adults without children should have at least a will, since it is the only way to make sure that their assets go to the people they choose after they pass away.
As the article points out, many people believe you do not need to have an estate planning attorney to create a will. It is possible to create your own will using many do-it-yourself options.
Be advised, though, that the article also points out that both The New York Times and Consumer Reports have looked into do-it-yourself will services and found them lacking for all but the simplest of wills.
No matter how old you are, do yourself and your family a favor and contact an estate planning attorney, if you do not already have a will.
Reference: New York Times (Feb. 8, 2017) "Why You Should Get Around to Drawing Up a Will."