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LegalZoom Survey Reveals Many Adults Leave Loved Ones Unprotected By Not Making or Updating a Will

11/09/2009

(Los Angeles, CA – October 23, 2009) – A recent survey[1]conducted by Insight Express for LegalZoom.com found that 70 percent of adults do not have a will. The results suggest that most adults do not understand the real value and scope that an up-to-date will can provide. Protecting your loved ones from the hassles of probate, ensuring intended asset distribution, and, perhaps most importantly, preventing family conflicts, can all be achieved by having an up to date will.

Only 29 percent of the respondents reported that they have created a will. Of those respondents, 38 percent say their will is out-of-date, meaning that it has not been updated for five or more years. Often, several life changing events can occur in this time, from the birth of a child or grandchild to changes in marital, employment or homeownership status. These changes should prompt the creation of an updated will to properly reflect a person’s circumstances and wishes.

Even though wills are created to record and enforce a person’s wishes in the light of unexpected events,  nearly one-third of respondents (30 percent) plan on waiting at least 5 years before creating a will, while another third (30 percent) do not have plans to create their will. Only 34 percent of total respondents believe it is very important to create or update a will.

Nearly one-quarter, 24%, say they have never considered creating a will, and 12% say they have put it off because they do not like thinking about death.

“If you don’t have an updated will when you die, your loved ones will face challenges in dealing with your estate,” said Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of LegalZoom.com. “It’s important for any adult without a will to complete one as soon as possible, and to then check it every two years. One way to remember is that every odd year -- 2009, 2011, 2013 -- you should check all your legal and financial documents to make sure there isn’t anything ‘odd’ that needs to be changed.” 

For more information about making a will or updating a will, please visit www.LegalZoom.com.


[1] Insight Express survey of 502 respondents conducted on August 13, 2009.