Consumer Watch: Fewer Americans have wills

Poll shows less Americans are getting wills (KOKH).

It's a thought you may not want to have, but thinking about your loved one's life after your death is important. More than half of Americans don't have a will, and a recent Gallup poll shows that there has been an increase in the number of people who do not have a will over the last ten years.

There is a cost associated with a will, but lack of knowledge may be the stronger reason why people are just not doing it. The younger you are the less likely it is that you have a will. People earning a low income and minority groups are also less likely to have one. This according to that recent Gallup poll.

Assets like a home or any savings might not go to the people you'd like at the end of your life.

“If you don't have a will, the state gets to tell you who gets your assets. You don't get to determine that,” says Sarah Stewart, the CEO if the Sarah Stewart Legal Group.

Stewart says she has been seeing an uptick in the number of younger adults coming to get wills in Oklahoma City. That's because having a will is not just about where things will go if you die.

“Say you are a new family, you just had children, a will, will help you determine who can help raise your children if something happens to you,” says Stewart.

Attorneys can help set up a will, and that would come at a cost. Stewart says you can expect it to cost a couple of hundred dollars, and the turnaround time tends to be quick.

Wills should also be updated as life changes. Whether it's having more children or getting a divorce, making timely changes to end of life plans is important because a judge will take those legal documents as a sign of what you wanted after death.

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