If You Don’t Have a Will, You Probably Should

A 2021 Gallup poll found that only 46% of U.S. adults have a will — similar to the results of other Gallup polls over the last 30 years. It’s not surprising that older people are more likely to have a will, as are people with higher incomes.1



Regardless of age or income, having a will is an essential step to pass your assets to your heirs with clarity and confidence.

Distribute property. A will enables you to leave your property at your death to anyone you choose: a surviving spouse, a child, other relatives, friends, a trust, or a charity. Transfers through your will take the form of specific bequests (e.g., heirlooms, jewelry, furniture, or cash), general bequests (e.g., a percentage of your property), or a residuary bequest of what’s left after your other transfers. It is generally a good practice to name backup (secondary) beneficiaries.

There are some limits on how you can distribute property using a will. For instance, your spouse may have certain rights with respect to your property, regardless of the provisions in your will. Also, assets for which you have already named a beneficiary pass directly to the beneficiary (e.g., life insurance, pension plans, IRAs).

Name an executor for your estate. A will allows you to select an executor to act as your legal representative after your death. An executor carries out many estate settlement tasks, including locating your will, collecting your assets, paying legitimate creditor claims, paying any taxes owed by your estate, and distributing any remaining assets to your beneficiaries.


Percentage of Americans who have a will, by age group

Percentage of Americans who have a will, by age group: 18 to 29: 20%; 30 to 49 36%; 50 to 64: 53%; 65+: 76%

Source: Gallup, 2021


Appoint a guardian for children. In many states, a will is the only way to specify who you want to act as legal guardian for your minor children if you die. You can name a personal guardian, who takes personal custody of the children, and a property guardian, who manages the children’s assets. This can be the same person or different people. If your children are grown and have children of their own, you might want to emphasize the importance of a will for your grandchildren.

Various software programs enable you to create a will, but it is generally better to consult an attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state. If you do use a software program, be sure it has been updated for your specific state laws, and make sure your heirs and executor have a copy of your will or know where to find it.

Solon Financial Group
6200 SOM Center Rd. B21 Solon, OH 44139
Phone: (440) 519-1838, (866) 517-7302 Fax: (440) 519-1878

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

6200 SOM Center Rd, B21, Solon, OH 44139

Securities and advisory services offered through Registered Representatives of Cetera Advisors LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGA Insurance Agency LLC), member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

Individuals affiliated with this broker/dealer firm are either Registered Representatives who offer only brokerage services and receive transaction-based compensation (commissions), Investment Adviser Representatives who offer only investment advisory services and receive fees based on assets, or both Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives, who can offer both types of services.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Cetera Advisors LLC may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site may be available in every state and through every advisor listed. For additional information please contact the advisor(s) listed on the site, visit the Cetera Advisors LLC site at www.ceteraadvisors.com

 

The registered representative(s) and/or investment adviser representative(s) listed on this website are licensed and registered in the following states:

We are licensed to sell Insurance Products in OH,PA.

[ Online Privacy Policy | Important Disclosures | Business Continuity | Privacy Promise | Order Routing Disclosure | Cetera Advisors ]