50% of people die without a Will (or a Trust), according to published statistics. I think it is less than that. I think the 50% figure was based on a survey, and I think that the people responding to the survey did not tell the truth. I think some people said that they had a Will when they did not. I think they were embarrassed to admit that they had not done it yet. My estimate is that only about 25% of people have a Will or Trust.
Why don’t people write a Will or a Trust? It is not a pleasant subject. Thinking about one’s death is depressing. Stating in writing that you are going to die, and signing it, is hard to do. And, deciding what to leave to whom is not easy. So, writing the Will is one of those chores that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the “to do” list.
Also, some people are superstitious. I know several people who believe that if they sign a Will, they will soon die. I am not sure why people feel that way, but I have heard that fear expressed by many people. Perhaps that is based upon their experience with older relatives who signed their Will late in life and died shortly thereafter.
It is unfortunate that people don’t write their Will or Trust earlier. A lot of Will and Trust contests cases arise because the person who makes the Will or Trust has waited so long that when they finally get around to doing it, they have some level of dementia and dependence upon care givers.
If someone got your parent to sign a Will or Trust just before they died, we can help. We are California probate litigation attorneys who specialize in contested Will and Trust case.