Why more Americans are preparing end-of-life documents such as wills, trusts

A new survey has found that 67% of people still have no end-of-life documents in place. Where do you even start and what exactly are your options?
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 12:33 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Thinking about mortality may be an uncomfortable subject for some, but it’s very important to have a discussion with your closest loved ones about what happens when you’re gone.

With the pandemic and recent mass shootings, more and more are preparing end-of-life documentation such as living wills and trusts. Yet a new survey has found that 67% of people still have no end-of-life documents in place.

Where do you even start and what exactly are your options? Local managing attorney at Edward Law Jonathan Scibilia visited Good Morning, Arizona on Wednesday to talk about documentation’s importance, how you can get started on preparing the right documents, and even how to have these tough conversations. “First thing you do is you make that phone call. A lot of times the biggest mistake you can do is fail to plan,” said Scibilia. “You tell your kids, ‘I want my house to go to you.’ Unless it’s in writing, the state’s gonna do what it’s gonna do.”

He suggests re-evaluating your plans and needs every three to five years. The words “will” and “trusts” are often confused, but trusts aren’t just for rich people. Your assets become probatable if you have assets total over $100,000 in equity in your house or $75,000 in personal property. Consider a trust if you have that, but at minimum, always have a will in place.

Scibilia said that overall, wills for married couples can look like $900 to $1,000. A trust for a married couple can look like $3,000 to $5,000, but if you’re a single individual the fee will be about half of that total.