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Many Americans don't have a living trust or will

A new study put out by found that most Americans either don't have a will or trust or haven't done enough to fully complete the process of getting a will or estate. About 58 percent of respondents to the survey said they did not have a will or trust in place. The number was even higher for people who have children under the age of 18, which is surprising. About 64 percent of respondents who had children under 18 didn't have a will or trust established.

The study found that as people got older, it became more likely that they had these documents in place. For example, only 22 percent of people aged 18-36 said they had a will or trust. The figure jumped up to 36 percent for people aged 37-52. For those who were at least 53 but not older than 71, the number was 60 percent. And about 81 percent of people who were at least 72 years old had a will or trust.

There are always reasons to not deal with a will or trust. It's not exactly a "fun" task to complete, and these documents inherently deal with the topic of incapacitation and death -- topics that no one wants to willingly confront.

However, these are critical documents for anyone to have at any age. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and a living trust or a will can put in place some rules, guidelines and provisions for how you want your estate to be handled -- regardless of how many assets you may have -- in case of an emergency or unknown event.

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