The Finance Of Longevity

Most Americans Are Leaving Crucial Legacy Decisions Up in the Air

While respondents recognize the importance of legacy strategies a majority fail to take basic steps

A new Edward Jones Survey finds only 24% are taking the most basic step of naming a beneficiary

A new survey from Edward Jones ST. LOUIS, Sept. 16, 2019 – According to a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, 77% of Americans believe that estate and legacy strategies are important for everyone, not just wealthy individuals, yet only 24% of Americans are taking the most basic step of designating beneficiaries for all of their accounts.

“It’s encouraging to see that most people recognize how a properly planned estate or legacy strategy puts you in control of what happens to what matters most to you, such as minor children, dependents, financial assets, even your own health care decisions,” explains Edward Jones Client Services Group Principal Ken Cella. “What was startling is that even with this understanding, a majority of Americans still do not have a plan. Without a plan your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive, and very public, probate process where relatives and creditors can gain access to records and even challenge your will.”

Lack Of Urgency

Additionally, the data showed a lacking sense of urgency in prioritizing legacy planning conversations. Of Americans who work with financial advisors, 64% reported never having discussed estate goals and legacy plans with their financial advisor. Furthermore, only 34% of millennials and Gen Xers have discussed their estate/legacy goals with their financial advisors, which increased only minimally for baby boomers (38%), the generation most likely to need estate plans in the near future.

“No financial plan is complete without a legacy strategy, but there are steps individuals can take this week to make progress,” added Scott Thoma, Principal with the Investment Strategy group at Edward Jones. “Designating beneficiaries on each of your appropriate accounts is simplest and quickest way to get started. To ensure loved ones are taken care of, it’s crucial to review and update estate plans regularly, and most importantly, communicate these wishes to the beneficiaries throughout the process.”

Without a plan your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive, and very public, probate process where relatives and creditors can gain access to records and even challenge your will...

Fortunately, the Americans who do have estate and legacy plans in place are committed to updating them and involving their families in the process. Almost all Americans who have discussed their estate/legacy goals with their financial advisors have updated their plan since creating it (98%). Additionally, 61% involved their family the last time they reviewed their estate/legacy plan with their financial advisor, increasing to 74% for Americans with children in the household.

More information including calculators and other helpful tools can be found by visiting: www.edwardjones.com/legacy

Edward Jones is a licensed insurance producer in all states and Washington, D.C., through Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. and in California, New Mexico, and Massachusetts through Edward Jones Insurance Agency of California, L.L.C.; Edward Jones Insurance Agency of New Mexico, L.L.C.; and Edward Jones Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, L.L.C.

 

 

Methodology
The Edward Jones Leaving a Legacy Survey was conducted by Engine’s Online CARAVAN® Omnibus among a national sample of 2,007 adults comprising 1,003 men and 1,004 women 18 years of age and older from July 22-28, 2019.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones, a FORTUNE 500 firm headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices caters to individual investors. The firm’s 18,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.