According to caring.com surveys, roughly 70% of Americans don’t have a will. This is due to 3 key reasons: “I haven’t gotten round to it yet,” “I don’t own enough stuff,” and finally “I don’t know how to. This is very strange because there are lawyers in every single town across America and notaries in every strip mall most of which would be happy to help you fill out a basic will and notarize it on the spot for the price of 2 Doordash orders..
Despite its relative ease and accessibility the vast majority of Americans avoid getting a will and after carefully analyzing these annual survey results that caring.com had conducted for over half a decade we struggled to believe it was really that simple.
Vincent Hoonings, CEO and Founder of Wills.com conducted research of his own over the past 24 months through more than one hundred in-person interviews with normal everyday people on the streets of America which offered some different insights.
People are often unaware that statistics are a reflection of humanity. For example, while the most common reason people gave for not writing a will was the belief “I’ll be dead so why should I care what happens to my stuff?” they all shared one aspect of their reasoning: fear of dying.
Other research conducted by Statista.com supports these findings and reports that at least 75% of the US population has some anxieties around death and the rise of apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” and other meditation apps are trying to combat humans' anxieties and living a life of fear.
The media has been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to providing people with anything but fear-based news. It seems like the recent swine covid pandemic hasn’t helped matters much, either.
The best way to get rid of your anxiety is to first turn off your TVs, then accept that you are going to die one day since there is nothing you can do to change that.
Another app called “WeCroak” goes a step further by pushing 5 notifications to your phone every day with the notice; “You’re going to die' Because in Bhutan they believe that “contemplating death five times daily brings happiness”. And after using the app for 12 months I now completely agree, Hear me out!!
In the face of death, it rapidly becomes apparent that only a few things truly matter. These things aren’t actually "things" at all. I speak to people that want to write a will every single day, and when asked how they want to plan their estate, they generally let me know that they’d like their assets to create lasting value for the recipients But care most about the items of little monetary value!
As people get older, they stop caring about "stuff" and care more about giving their family treasures such as photo albums or family heirlooms that have more emotional than monetary value. People often want to make sure that these sentimental properties end up in the right hands before they die.
When someone writes a will, this is often the first time they acknowledge to themselves that they are mortal by signing a contract that determines how their entire lives will be distributed upon their death. But this ofcourse is not limited to just stuff. Parents have to determine who will raise their children if they die before they come of age. This is why parents select a godfather/godmother but just naming someone does not legally make them the guardian of a child. Being appointed the godmother of a friend's baby is an honor, but while it may confer religious responsibilities, it does not confer any legal rights. In order for this title to be honored by any courts, you name the legal guardian in your will.