There was a study published in 2007 that found that 55% of all adult Americans do not have a Will. (Harris Interactive® for Martindale-Hubbell® conducted the research study.) Only 32% of African American adults and 26% of Hispanic American adults have Wills, compared to 52% of white American adults.
I also read that 5 out of 10 people that have Wills need to update them. Does yours still do what you want it to? Wills are documents that might need to be changed and updated as you needs change over time, kind of like life insurance. You should take them out periodically and look them over to see if they still do what you want them to. Do you need to change beneficiaries? Is the order of Executor still the order that you wish? Do specific items being given in your Will still exist, or have they been sold, lost or broken? If your Will still does what you want it to do, then put it away in a safe place. If it needs to be changed, update it.
Do you even know where your original Will is? Apparently 8 out of 10 folks that have Wills can’t readily locate them either. It is important to remember where you have your Will, and also to let your Executor, and any Alternate Executor know where to find it too. (Only you need to know what is in your Will, but your Executors should know where to find it.) The original Will is the only one that counts, so it is important to know where it is located. If you have looked everywhere and still can’t find your Will, it would be a good idea to prepare a new one.
If you have any questions regarding your Will, please give us a call or email.