We were taken aback and perplexed when it was revealed that Prince had died without leaving a will behind. The same can be said for Chadwick Boseman and Aretha Franklin, among others. Many of us were perplexed as to why such seemingly wealthy celebrities had failed to properly prepare their properties.
Unfortunately, this is a more prevalent occurrence in the Black community than we would like to believe.
Between 2018 and 2042, it is anticipated that $70 trillion will be transferred, and 75 percent of Black Americans are not prepared to receive this influx of cash. This is especially troubling because Black households have only 12 cents for every dollar earned by a white household, and estate planning could help to address this disparity.
According to a survey conducted by Caring.com in 2021, only 27 percent of Black Americans have a will, which is the most important document in an estate plan.
2,500 Americans were polled as part of a survey conducted by Caring.com and YouGov to discover who is engaging in estate planning and why they are or are not doing so.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted people’s desire to make a will (35 percent said they felt a higher need), the total number of people who have a will has remained the same since last year – two out of every three people still do not have important estate planning documents.
As a result of COVID-19, Caring.com believes that it is critical to give education to help Americans both recognize the need for and understand the measures that must be taken in order to guarantee that they have an appropriate estate plan in place.
A CNBC interview with Brickson Diamond, Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Black House Foundation, stated that Black people should begin thinking about estate planning now so that they do not be left behind when the time comes.
According to him, “a great number of families have lost their familial access to and ownership of land.” The home will at best fall into disrepair and at worst will be taken away from the family if they haven’t planned ahead to pay the taxes and meet the mortgage payments, according to the experts.
Despite COVID-19, the overall prevalence of estate planning has not improved significantly since 2020, and it remains significantly lower than in prior years.
While there has been a minor increase in the number of people who say they have a will or other estate planning document since 2020, the gain has been minimal, with only a 2.5 percent increase since the previous year. Furthermore, the overall proportion has been stable since 2017. (33 percent in 2021, vs. 42 percent in 2017).