A study of 10,000 U.S. workers conducted by Wealth show that only 53% have an estate plan and only 32% have a will. Wealth is a new comprehensive estate planning platform that empowers people to create, manage and visualize their estate plan digitally. Wealth’s inaugural “State of Estate Planning” report reveals surprising insights about the landscape of estate planning services, and identify opportunities for employers to offer estate planning benefits to employees to help people secure their families financial future.
The Wealth “State of Estate Planning” study shows that there are big opportunities to expand access to estate planning services to more people, and help more employees protect their financial legacies for their loved ones. Estate planning should not only be available to high-net- worth households. Employees of all income levels and walks of life can benefit from financial clarity and emotional peace of mind that comes with having an estate plan. This important, life-affirming activity is one of the most critical parts of the ongoing financial planning process.
Estate planning is inaccessible to most people
While most people see the value in estate planning, they don’t always know how to begin or where to go for help.
Seventy percent of survey respondents said that they want to pass down wealth to their loved ones, yet only 53% of respondents currently have an estate plan – even worse, only 32% have a will in place. This indicates an accessibility gap for estate planning services. Despite the high percentage of people who want estate planning, barely half have been able to create a plan.
Among people who do not have an estate plan, 63% said that they’ve considered doing an estate plan in the past, yet 46% don’t know how to start. People of color (POC) in particular face accessibility barriers. POC are 14% less likely to have an estate plan in place than non-POC respondents.
Misperceptions about estate planning are hurting families
Regardless of income or net worth, everyone can create an estate plan and can benefit from it.
The number one factor holding people back from securing their financial legacies and putting loved ones at risk, is the idea that estate planning should be done “in the future” instead of now. This may be due to the fact that 45% of respondents said they avoid thinking about death,
Another misperception is that estate planning is only for extremely wealthy people. According to the Wealth, 42% are more likely to cite not owning anything valuable and 30% more likely to say they don’t have enough money saved as reasons for why they don’t have a plan.
HR is overlooking an essential financial benefit for employees
While employers already invest in benefits including insurance and retirement savings plans, there is a huge gap in the market for estate planning as an employee benefit. Offering estate planning services via employee benefits programs could help more people get access to estate planning and take the steps necessary to secure their financial legacies.
As employers look to evolve their benefits packages, they need to shine a light on estate planning. Only 13% of survey respondents said that they receive estate planning as an employee benefit, and 72% of respondents who do not have an estate plan said they’d be more likely to set up an estate planning if these services were offered via their employer.
The State of Estate Planning 2022: Study Methodology
Research findings are based on a survey commissioned by Wealth and conducted in the U.S. by WALR in partnership with Manifest from Dec. 16, 2021, to Jan. 1, 2022. Thirty-plus questions were posed to 10,000 respondents ages 30-55 who are employed and have a household income of more than $100,000.
About the Author:
Rafael Loureiro is the Co-founder and CEO of Wealth.
Wealth is a comprehensive estate planning platform that empowers people to create, manage and visualize their plans digitally. Creating an estate plan with Wealth gives your loved ones a holistic view of all your assets, visualized and securely stored in one place. Because life is unpredictable, Wealth makes it easy for you to access your plan anytime and offers guidance to keep it current and valid. And should the unthinkable occur, your trusted beneficiaries are granted emergency access to your plan. Wealth is available to companies as an employee benefit, allowing employers to offer their workforce a meaningful financial wellness opportunity. Visitwww.Wealth.com.