Nearly Half of Older Americans Don't Have Wills or Estate Plans

Excerpt from TheStreet, published February 7, 2019


Death is a hard subject that many people would prefer to avoid, said Eric Walters, president and founder of SilverCrest Wealth Planning in the Denver area.

"I've found that some people are averse to considering their own mortality," said Walters, a CFP.

Other stumbling blocks can also prevent people from creating a will or engaging in related estate planning.

Parents might not be able to agree on who they want to name as guardians of their children.

Some "get bogged down with complicated "if/then" ideas" while others may recoil at the cost," Walters noted.

A worst-case scenario can happen if someone starts the process of drafting a will and estate documents, typically with a lawyer, and then never finishes the process by signing the documents, he noted.

If the person dies, the documents will be invalid, throwing the entire estate -- including any businesses or other assets -- into court for the probate system to sort out, which could take months or years.

Even so, the expense of the estate planning process can also be a turn off to some, planners say.

Fees can range from $1,500 on the low end to $5,000 on the high end for package that includes a will, powers of attorney and a living will, which lays out in advance your desires related to medical care and end- of-life decisions, Walters said.

SilverCrest Wealth Planning