The statistics that are compiled to get a feel for the estate planning preparedness of American adults are not encouraging. Sometimes a particular publication will start to track the progress of a certain phenomenon over a number of years, and Caring.com has focused on this subject.
They have published a survey for 2020 that is eye-opening, and not in a good way. In 2017 when they started doing their research, they found that 42 percent of American adults had estate plans in place. This year, the number is just 32 percent, and lack of preparedness is not confined to young people.
Just over 27 percent of respondents that were between the ages of 35 and 54 had wills or trust, and the parents of dependent children are typically in this age group. If you want to take chances when no one is depending on you, that’s one thing, but parents are in a different category.
You would certainly think that most people that are 55 years of age and older have addressed this responsibility, but this is simply not the case. Only 47.9 percent of individuals in this age group have wills or trusts.
If you are going through life without an estate plan like most people and you never take action before it’s too late, you would die intestate. Under the circumstances, the probate court would step in to supervise the estate administration process.
They would appoint a personal representative to act as the administrator. This is a role that is similar to that of the executor that would be named in a last will.
Final debts would be paid during probate, and the court would ultimately order the distribution of the assets under the intestate succession rules of the state of Nevada.
If there are children but no spouse, siblings, or parents for living, the children would inherit the entire intestate estate. The surviving spouse would inherit the estate if there are no living parents or children.
Parents would be the sole inheritors if there is no surviving spouse and there are no siblings or children. The siblings are the inheritors if there are no children, no parents, and no surviving spouse.
When there is a spouse and one child, the spouse would assume ownership of all community property and half of the separate property, and the child would get the other half the separate property.
In a situation where there is a spouse in more than one child, a spouse would get the entirety of the community property and one-third of the separate property. The children would divide the rest equally.
If a spouse and parents survive a decedent, the spouse would inherit all of the community property and half of the separate property, and the parents would inherit the remainder.
The asset transfers that are subject to the intestate laws are transfers that would have been subject probate if there was a will. Some types of asset transfers are in a different category.
Life insurance proceeds and inherited individual retirement accounts would go to the beneficiaries that were selected by the decedent. The same thing is true with payable on death accounts and property that is held in joint tenancy.
There is no reason to take any chances with your legacy. We know that people assume that they will always have time to take care of it later on, but for far too many fate intercedes.
When you take the right steps to preserve your legacy for the benefit of your family, you can go forward with peace of mind.
If you’re ready to get started, you can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 775-823-9455.