How Wills and Trusts Work, and Where to Start

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough; estate planning can make things easier on a grieving family.

(Image credit: Natthapon)

A recent study shows that a majority of Americans — 56% — die without a will or estate plan. The importance of creating and updating a will cannot be understated.

One of the most overlooked parts of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks involved wills. The median age of the thousands of people killed in the World Trade Center was 39, an age group where people are less likely to have wills than older Americans. More than two-thirds of the victims of that terrorist attack were men. Many of them did not have wills, ensuring court battles could last for many years even after the physical scars have been erased. It’s a powerful and sobering reminder about the importance of estate planning.

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Mark Pruitt, Investment Adviser Representative
President and CEO, Strategic Estate Planning Services, Inc.

Mark Pruitt is the president and CEO of Strategic Estate Planning Services, Inc. Based out of Dallas, Texas, he serves on the National Summit Advisory Board and is a speaker for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). Mark was selected as National Advisor of the Year by Senior Market Advisor in 2012. He is an Investment Adviser Representative and insurance professional.