Caring.com, a leading senior living referral service and the nation's top site for senior care reviews, has published a comprehensive report from its annual Wills and Estate Planning Study.
The 2021 study highlights the pandemic's impact on estate planning and the shift in attitudes among specific groups. The survey generated responses from 2,500 Americans, and is a continuing effort to foster awareness and understanding about the estate planning process.
Based on results from 2020, the number of young adults with a will increased by 63 percent this year. For the first time, adults under 35 years old are more likely to have a will than those ages 35-54. About half of all younger adults surveyed also reported that COVID-19 prompted their interest in estate planning. Despite the growing interest among younger adults, most Americans still fail to take any action beyond talking to loved ones about estate planning, with 67% overall not yet having a will.
Most respondents cite procrastination as the main reason for not having a will, while the number of Americans that express a lack of understanding has increased by 90 percent since 2017. The survey also indicates a significant increase among Hispanic and Black Americans with a will. The number of Hispanics with a will has increased by 12 percent and by 6.2 percent among Blacks, since the 2020 report.
"In comparison to previous years, the 2021 study indicates that Americans see a greater need for estate planning due to the pandemic," says Caring.com CEO, Jim Rosenthal. "Unfortunately, many people haven't begun the estate planning process – even with the increased availability of remote and online services."
Income level is also a crucial factor among people who engage in estate planning. Survey respondents making under $40K a year were less likely to have a will. The percentage of Americans with a will and annual income of $40K - $80K increased from 33 percent to 39 percent in one year.
Caring.com has conducted its Wills and Estate Planning Study since 2015 to raise awareness of the importance of estate planning, especially among people that may not feel that they have the resources or tools needed to create a will or living trust. To demystify estate planning and help people better understand the process, Caring.com partnered with YouGov to survey over two thousand Americans and evaluate findings. For full survey results, infographics, and estate planning basics, please visit https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey.
With millions of website visitors, Caring.com is a leading senior care referral service and the nation's top site for senior care reviews. Founded in 2007, Caring's mission is to help as many seniors and their caregivers as possible through empathetic, expert guidance. Applying cutting-edge technology to this humane mission, Caring provides relevant senior care information and support, as well as comprehensive senior living and senior care directories for the United States with hundreds of thousands of consumer reviews of senior living and in-home care providers. Through a toll-free line at (855) 223-4260, Caring's empathetic, nationwide team of Family Advisors -- who are among the most highly trained, highly skilled, and knowledgeable experts in senior care -- help families and seniors research and connect to the most appropriate services and support for their specific situations. For more information about our organization and our free services for seniors and their families, please visit https://www.caring.com/about/ and join with Caring on Facebook.