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Half of people with children do not have a will

You may have heard that most Americans do not have a will, and perhaps you are one. A common excuse you hear in this situation is quite simple: "I don't have children. Why would I need an estate plan?"

The logic is that you only really care what happens to your estate when it will be divided among your children. If you're not married and you do not have kids, it feels a lot less urgent.

This is flawed logic on many levels. For one thing, your estate still has to go somewhere, even if it is not to the children. Having a plan is critical for everyone.

Also interesting is that this excuse does not apply to as many people as you probably assumed. Maybe you thought that those with children overwhelmingly had estate plans in place, while young and single people did not.

The reality, according to some reports, is that more than 50 percent of Americans who have children still do not have wills. In total, these reports say that 64 percent of all people in the country haven't drafted wills. So, while many single, childless individuals are included in this number, there are still plenty of families with young dependents who have not bothered to square things away.

The mess this can create at the end of someone's life cannot be overstated. Families sometimes end up in expensive estate disputes just because there's no plan in place. Regardless of your situation or your age, make sure you consider all of the legal options that you have at your disposal.

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