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A Shocking Number Of Americans Do Not Have A Will, Study Finds (Video)


Three in five American adults shockingly do not have a will, according to a new study examining how people plan for their later years and if they’ve discussed the future with their partners or family members.

Results found that many are taking the head in the sand approach — half don’t have any sort of plan for how they’ll spend their senior years even though three in five described the discussion of senior life topics as “necessary.”

Respondents estimated that the average person should start creating a plan by the age of 48, however one in two people in their fifties and older admitted to still having nothing in place for their later years.

The survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Brookdale Senior Living revealed that two in five have not spoken to their children about their future plans at all and others have not given their future financials any thought either.

Nearly seven in 10 people have not started saving for a senior living community in any capacity.

Only 35 percent of respondents think they’ll be able to afford senior living with 46 percent of people planning on dipping into their savings for it — while 43 percent will rely on their retirement income and 35 percent will be looking to their investment portfolios.

Lucinda “Cindy” Baier, president and CEO of Brookdale Senior Living said:

“The results of this survey mirror what we at Brookdale see every day; many people are simply not prepared for the later stages of life. We believe that it’s part of our mission to help change the way Americans approach aging, and we do it one relationship at a time.”

Even closer on the horizon for many Americans is helping to care for their aging parents. Half of whom have not even started a conversation with their parents about how they plan on financing their later years.

Two in five respondents admitted that they haven’t talked to their parents about their plans even though the oldest parent of the average respondent was 67 years old.

Still, 58 percent worry about their parents living without assistance and have no idea how they’ll cope with the future.


Nearly three in 10 Americans don’t know if their parents have a will in place. That’s 56 percent more than those who know for sure their parents do not have a will at all.

Even if their parents have a will, two in five adults don’t know what’s in the documents themselves.

This lack of planning has placed a definite stress on many Americans seeing as one in 10 are not confident they’d know what to do in the event of a medical emergency or sudden passing of a parent.

Brookdale Senior Living CEO Lucinda Baier added:

“Having a conversation about senior living can be stressful for many people but, as this survey shows, it’s necessary for families to have this discussion. Starting from an understanding of what your loved one needs makes it easier. It’s worth noting that you can find several tools to guide these conversations at Brookdale.com, and there are also 844 Brookdale communities across the country with trained counselors who can help your family explore all options. You know, one tour is worth a thousand words.”


  1. Necessary 61%
  2. Stressful 30%
  3. Uncomfortable 28%
  4. Annoying 12%
  5. Inappropriate 9%


  1. Savings 46%
  2. Retirement income 43%
  3. Investments 35%
  4. Medicare 31%
  5. Sale of home 22%
  6. Long term care insurance 21%
  7. Money from friends/family 15%