Survey: Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Have a Will at the Close of 2019

Survey: Two-Thirds of Americans Don’t Have a Will at the Close of 2019

Do-it-yourself legal software Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2020 can help consumers save hundreds by doing it themselves.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (December 2, 2019) – 

If they’re anything like the readers who responded to a recent Nolo legal survey, millions of Americans could benefit from trusted do-it-yourself estate planning software like Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2020

Nolo, the nation’s original and leading publisher of DIY legal products, ran its survey on wills in conjunction with the release of its Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2020 software. The survey responses came from readers of various online articles on the Nolo network of websites in the month of November 2019. Readers had the chance to answer a series of questions that focused on the sometimes-dreaded—but critical—topic of creating a will. 

“When it comes to having legal documents in order, most Americans aren’t prepared to die,” said Betsy Hannibal, Senior Legal Editor for Estate Planning at Nolo. “Nearly everyone can benefit from having a will.”

Wills let you:

  • decide who will get your property
  • name guardians for your children (and people to manage the children’s property)
  • identify caretakers for your pets
  • name an executor to wrap up your estate, and 
  • have a backup to a living trust (which is another estate planning tool that comes with Quicken WillMaker). 


Two-thirds—67%—of the people who filled out Nolo’s survey indicated that they don’t have a will. Over half of the readers without wills (54%) reported having at least thought about creating a will. Among the chief culprits for their procrastination were time, money, and simply not knowing where to start.

Two-thirds—67%—of the people who filled out Nolo’s survey indicated that they don’t have a will. Over half of the readers without wills (54%) reported having at least thought about creating a will. Among the chief culprits for their procrastination were time, money, and simply not knowing where to start.

That’s where do-it-yourself options like Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2020 come in. It’s the easiest way to create an estate plan—which includes a will and much more. It allows users to create a customized estate plan, including: 

  • a will
  • a living trust
  • a health care directive
  • a financial power of attorney, and 
  • other essential documents.


And WillMaker isn’t only for people who don’t have a will—it’s also for those who really ought to update the will they have. Many of the readers who responded to our survey had recently experienced at least one major life event, such as a marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. An outdated will won’t account for those kinds of significant life events. 

Nolo’s powerful software guides users through the process from beginning to end, providing the practical and legal information users need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. 

Quicken WillMaker & Trust is the original will-writing software, created and updated regularly by Nolo’s team of legal editors. With a suggested retail price of just $89.99, using Quicken WillMaker & Trust can help consumers save not only time, but also hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars in attorneys’ fees.

Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2020 is available now from trusted retailers and directly from Nolo at https://store.nolo.com/products/quicken-willmaker-plus-wqp.html.

Key Findings From Nolo’s 2019 Survey

Most people don’t have a will. 67% of participants didn’t have a will. 72% of those without a will were 40 or older.

Most people have thought about creating a will. 54% of participants had thought about creating a will but hadn’t gotten around to actually doing so. Here are some of the reasons these readers gave for not having made will: 
– 25% didn’t know where to start.
– 24% thought they didn’t have many assets to worry about. 
– 20% were deterred by cost.
– 14% cited a lack of time. 

Most people who have a will hired a lawyer to make it. 55% of those with a will hired a lawyer. 42% of readers who hired a lawyer were charged anywhere between $500 and over $3,000.

Comments are closed.