Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Why People of Color Are Less Likely to Have a Will

Estate planningAccording to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports earlier this year, high numbers responded not having a will in place. While the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call for many Americans around end-of-life planning, it is still reported that 1 in 3 Americans don’t have a will.

The Consumer Report Survey showed a noticeable difference in responses from people of color, with the top reasons cited as being too young, not having enough assets, not being sure how to create one, or assuming their next of kin will automatically receive everything. However, the most common reason is that they planned to create one but haven’t gotten around to it.

Maria Victoria Colón, a certified public accountant, told Consumer Reports that the general belief in the Hispanic community is that wills and financial planning is “only for rich people.” She teaches financial literacy on Instagram and TikTok in hopes of dispelling this myth and warns against the assumption that things will easily transfer to the next of kin. There can be difficulties if the family structure is complicated.

Another reason cited is that they prefer not to think about death, which for some cultures, is not appropriate topic of discussion and can be a big roadblock to creating a will.

For more information see Althea Chang-Cook “Why People of Color Are Less Likely to Have a Will” Consumer Reports, August 10, 2022.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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