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Alternative Market Briefing

Covid-19 pandemic prompts more people to develop estate plans

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted more people to develop estate plans, though a large percentage remain without a will or estate plan, according to a new WellsFargo - Gallup survey.

Close to half of investors in the new survey (45%) report they have neither a will nor an estate plan. About a third say they do have a written will (34%), 4% have written estate plans, and 17% have both.

"The pandemic has put in sharp relief the need to plan for the future, including having good end-of-life plans in place," said Michael Liersch, head of Advice and Planning for Wells Fargo's Wealth & Investment Management division. "The availability of the vaccine is great news, but it should not stop people from preparing estate plans."

Higher-income investors are no more prepared than investors as a whole, but the percentage with either a will, estate plans, or both does increase with age. The percentage with no preparations declines from 70% of investors under age 50 to 17% of those 65 and older.

Even those who have a will or estate plan in place may need to be more open about them with family or other heirs, to ensure their final wishes are understood and carried out.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) report they have only spoken a little or not at all to family members about their will or estate plans, and 57% believe they need to do more when it comes to communicating these plans. Again, this changes with age, but even 45% of retired investors say t......................

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