Because of the extreme rate of inflation, which hit 6.5% in 2022, more of us are worried about estate planning than ever before, according to the annual Wills and Estate Planning Survey from Caring.com.
In a recent survey, roughly 20% of survey respondents said they believe an estate plan is now more important because they worry about how inflation will affect their heirs’ financial future. More than one in 10 said inflation changed their view on estate planning because they see their assets, such as real estate, as more valuable than in the past.
However, 9% of survey respondents said they feel inflation reduced the value of their assets, creating less of a need for estate planning; and 7% said they had to sell many of their valuable assets to keep up with the cost of inflation in their day-to-day lives.
Although 64% of Americans think having a will and an estate plan is important, only about a third (34%) of Americans have a will or an estate plan. Caring.com found younger Americans are 63% more likely to have an estate plan in 2023 than compared to 2020 – and more than a third said inflation made them realize the need for an estate plan.
Sixty-three more young adults aged 18- to 34-year-olds have estate planning documents than the same age group did in 2020, because of inflation, according to the results. This makes young adults almost as likely as middle-aged adults to have an estate plan. According to the survey, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a significant impact on young adults wanting to create an estate plan, with the number increasing by 69% between 2020 and 2021.
Just 32% of Americans age 55+ said inflation changed their mind about estate planning. However, older adults have an overall higher rate of already having a will. The 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Survey found 3% more Americans have a will in 2023 than last year – from 33% to 34% — and 6% more Americans have a will than in 2020.
A total of 42% of Americans said they haven’t created a will because of procrastination. One in three people said they don’t have an estate plan because they don’t think they have enough wealth to leave behind when they die.