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Study Shows Many Affluent People Lack Wills

A new study by PNC Advisors in Pittsburgh shows that the wealthier you are, the less likely you are to take steps such as creating a will to protect your assets.

The results flout a basic tenet of financial planning, which maintains that the greater a family’s assets, the greater the planning that’s needed to maintain those assets.

About one in five affluent individuals—defined as those with at least $500,000 in investable assets—does not have a will. (Among individuals with $10 million or more, a higher percentage, about 43%, don’t have a will.)

Procrastination may be behind wealthy individuals’ lack of planning. But they may also be stymied by reluctance to talk about wealth-transfer issues and confusion over how to deal with their complicated needs.

Interestingly, all respondents felt they needed to roughly double their assets to achieve long-term financial security. Those with $500,000 to $1 million wanted a median of $2.4 million, while those with at least $10 million in assets estimated that they would need $18.1 million to feel secure.