Where There’s a Will There’s No Way, Many Americans Say

Survey finds 32% would rather have a root canal or give up sex than make a will

In anticipation of Rocket Lawyer’s declaration of April as "Make a Will Month," the company that "takes a TurboTax approach to legal documents" released the results of a Harris Interactive survey that reveals many Americans would rather do almost anything rather than make a will.

Data released Thursday from the survey, taken in March, showed that 57% of Americans do not have a will; among those under age 35, that rises to 92%. Boomers (ages 45-64) are somewhat better prepared, with only 44% leaving their beneficiaries legally unprovided for. More than a third of men believe that they don’t need a will at all; they’re also more likely than women not to have one (61% vs. 53%). And 32% of Americans would rather do their taxes, have a root canal, or give up sex for a month than go through the process of writing a will.

Other interesting statistics revealed by the survey include the facts that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to have a will (46% to 37%) and that men are more likely to leave more money to a spouse (35%) than women, who are more likely to leave equal amounts to each named beneficiary (43%).

According to Rocket Lawyer, those without a will can make one through the company’s website during the month of April for free. In a typical month, the company says, 20,000 wills are created on its site; once a will is complete, Rocket Lawyer adds, it can be securely stored, shared, e-signed, and made available for legal review by its network of attorneys.

The company suggests three tips for anyone contemplating a will:

  • Be prepared to update a will every time there is a major life event, such as a birth, marriage, purchase of a home, divorce, or the death of a beneficiary
  • Designate beneficiaries and an executor
  • Share the completed will with loved ones, so that in the event of death they know what will happen to the estate.
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