What percentage of people have a Living Trust?

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of managing one’s assets and ensuring a smooth transition of wealth to the next generation. As part of that process, one key decision individuals face is the choice between wills vs. trusts. Estate planning attorneys often advise clients on the advantages and disadvantages of each option, considering factors such as family dynamics, asset distribution and financial goals.

In this article we look at the statistics surrounding this choice and the percentage of people who have a living trust over a will and the considerations of which one is right for you.

By the numbers

Understanding the landscape of estate planning begins with a closer look at the numbers. Surprisingly, while approximately 2/3 of people know they need an estate plan only 1/3 of people have an estate plan. This discrepancy raises questions about the factors influencing individuals’ decisions regarding their estates.

When deciding between a living trust and a will the size and complexity of assets are key factors. If an individual has multiple properties, businesses, substantial investments or complex finances, a living trust would be the better option.

Living trusts are beneficial because they allow a designated trustee to manage your assets in the event of incapacitation, bypassing the need for court intervention. This is especially appealing for those concerned about managing their affairs in the future.

However, for those with simpler and smaller estates, a will might be sufficient, if the probate process is not an issue. Although it should be stressed that trusts save beneficiaries from the financial burdens of probate in the long run and the length of time the courts take.

Statistics show that among individuals creating an estate plan, about 75% have wills, while 18% have trusts. The remaining percentage represents those who have adopted a hybrid approach, utilizing both a living trust and a will and as a backup document for assets acquired over time that had not yet been added to the trust.

Adding to the estate planning stats

California, being one of the most populous states in the U.S., plays a significant role in shaping estate planning statistics. Estate planning attorneys in California often find that the decision to establish a living trust is influenced by various factors, including the complexity of assets, individual goals and family needs.

Living trusts, which provide a more flexible and efficient means of managing assets, have gained popularity in California. At California Living Trusts, we help you manage living trust costs by offering a moderately priced option for all your legal needs. For over twenty five years, we have crafted thousands of comprehensive, high-quality trusts while keeping our prices reasonable.